I have 2 sons. That’s right, 2. Not one of each, but 2 of the same.
No, I’m not disappointed.
No, I didn’t wish he was a girl.
No, I won’t be hoping for a girl next time.
Parents of multiple, same sex, children, you know what it’s like. You’re showing off your baby, with your toddler in tow, and the topic of gender arises. It’s the easiest target of conversation, outside of the weather, for the discerning Brit. You brace for the matter of fact acknowledgement of them both being ‘the same’, or, worse, the blatant statement of pity at your obvious misfortune.
What do you do next? Do you tame your raised hackles and brush off the comment with a casual, ‘Oh, it’s actually quite lovely having 2 boys/girls’, ‘Best friends for life’? Or maybe you let rip with a, ‘They aren’t THE SAME! They are 2(or 3, or 4…) unique, and wonderful, children who I wouldn’t swap for the world’, or a, ‘No, I’m not bloody disappointed at the X and/or Y chromosome combination of my offspring’, and a ‘Shut your face, you [insert appropriate swear word here]’.
I supposed it depends on how well those kiddos of yours slept last night as to which option you go for.
Either way, you come to expect a similar exchange with each new meeting, and you adjust as necessary…until someone surprises you.
I was recently in a shop with my 2 year old by my side, and my 2 month old in my arms. The lady serving me ran through the obligatory social niceties, ‘The weather has been nice recently’, ‘How lovely, a new baby’, ‘Is it a boy or a girl?’.
Here we go again.
‘He’s a boy. Sebastian.’
(Hmmmm, I wonder which she’ll go for; standard, or outright rude? Let’s see…)
‘Brothers? That’s amazing! How wonderful to have 2 boys!’
*casually pick chin up from the floor.
‘Yes, brothers. You’re completely right, it is amazing. They are wonderful.’
Since we found out the gender of our second child, 15 weeks in to our pregnancy, we’ve never had this reaction. Not once. Ever.
How surprising, how novel, how REFRESHING, to have someone be so positive about my children being the same gender.
I love that we have 2 boys. I love that I get the privilege of raising 2 fellows. 2 future fathers. 2 future men. I love that they will grow up together, and fill my house with fun, and noise, and sweetness, and love. That they are not the, apparently perfect, ‘one of each’ does not change this. Does not negate this. Does not make a blind bit of difference to how infinitely blessed I feel to have them in my life.
To have a stranger, with genuine excitement, and glorious sincerity, react so positively to my 2 boys was such a pleasant surprise…that came with the jarring realisation that I had, up until this point, been fielding only negative, or nonchalant, responses.
To that lady, I say, ‘THANK YOU’. A huge thank you for allowing me to bask in the beauty of my perfect family.
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