Awaiting you

I wished you were a girl. 

The daughter I am to my mother, a cheeky brat like Abigail, the adorable but bull-headed Elena, oh and little Zara, who has her father and her grandpa dancing to her every tune. 
Or you could be like our curly haired bully, Poopi, or the delicate darling Angie.  
You could choose to be like them or a kind of your own…
It didn’t matter what kind you were, as long as you were a girl. 

Pregnant with my first, I had prayed hard — my little one should never be a girl.
How I hated my gender, my kind, back then! Constantly muffled by the patriarchy, the unsaid rules of the male kind. I did not want another me on earth. The cynicism, the despair, the powerlessness that made you cringe at the thought of another girl on this planet to be hurt, bullied, ill-treated; someone who would be pushed around, used and simply cast away. How bleak was my view? How hopeless was I? How defeated!
So a part of me rejoiced when he was born, my firstborn, a son. 
And my heart was a little crushed when you turned up different from what I had hoped, yet another boy. 

Yes, it was a small victory for me, to wish again for a daughter. To know that I had come past that despair. I had jumped past that small-minded thought process and was no longer willing to be defined by the boundaries that had been set for my gender. Nor was I ready to let anyone dictate my child’s way.  

But, in my small victory as a woman, I failed as a parent. 
Truth remains that both times, I let you guys down. 
In wishing for a him, and hoping for a her, I had let you guys down. 

Because parents do not choose. They accept without question. 
They provide, they carry, they nurture, they nourish and they cherish They love without reason. Not despite your gender, your colour, your size, your physical attributes, but in completeness. They do not judge. They do not load you down with expectations and aspirations. They understand, they encourage, they hold you through times when you are weary. 

From the time that you are born, you become our responsibility. Your struggles become our struggles. And it is our responsibility to trust you, build your courage, your confidence and your competence. To engage with your curiosity and build your resilience. 

And in that little time, that I wished for a boy and I hoped for a girl, I failed you as a parent.
I am sorry! 
And tomorrow again, when I expect your brother to chew faster, write faster and talk lesser I will fail again in a teeny-weeny way. And when I wish you were a little less dramatic as you fall on the floor and roll on the ground, maybe I will fail you too a tiny bit. 

But in the larger picture, my boys, I will not let you down.
I will let you choose, learn from your mistakes and help you get back up. 
I will be your parent – who will love without reason and accept without question.
I will have your back.  

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