According to Facebook, it was National Daughter’s Day. It was sweet; seeing all the pictures of other people’s daughters and the lovely sentiments people wrote put a smile on my face. I love seeing my Facebook friend’s kids’ triumphs and mini-milestones: first days of school, dance recitals, homecomings and proms. And I don’t even hate made up holidays like National Donut Day (because, donuts!) and National Cat Day (because, cats!) But National Daughter Day hit me in a weird place.
Because I will never have a daughter.
I have an incredibly smart, talented, and beautiful niece who is my Goddaughter. I have anot her funny, spirited, and gorgeous niece who lights up my life. I treasure my time with these two lovely ladies like nothing else.
But I will never have a daughter.
There was a time in my life when the boys were small and I was in a loving relationship when I thought that another child was surely in my future. I wasn’t 100% sure that I wanted another child, but in my heart I thought it was in the cards for me. It may not have been a daughter. But it could have been.
Now, I’m at the age where having a baby isn’t beyond the realm of possibility, but it is highly improbable. It is also improbable that were I to get pregnant that the pregnancy would be smooth and easy given my past history. This wasn’t something I thought much about or dwelled on until today. Until I saw what I wasn’t going to have.
Being the mom of sons is phenomenal. Nobody loves a mom like her son, right? Right. And wrong.
Daughters aren’t easy to raise. I should know, I was one of them. I even made it a point to thank my mom on my last birthday for not leaving me by the side of the road for the gypsies even though I am sure the thought crossed her mind once or a thousand times.
Girls have hormones and drama. Girls have attitudes and catfights. Girls spend a good part of their tweendom being ridiculously self-centered little creatures. When I found out I was having boys, I was relieved. Until I discovered that boys have all of the above too.
But I’ll never know what it’s like to help pick out that perfect outfit. I won’t get the joy and pride of seeing my baby girl do and be all of the things she will grow to do and be as she becomes a woman. There will be no mini-me. I won’t be able to sit and relate to that young woman as she slowly realizes what it has been like to be her mom, to be a woman, to do what we mothers do day in and day out. I won’t have late night confessions and conversations, I won’t cry on her wedding day. I won’t know the joy of watching my daughter grow into the woman I knew she’d be.
I have my nieces. And my cousins’ baby girls. I will watch them grow and love them fiercely. I will enjoy the quiet times of coloring and playing with dollies and learning about music and playing sports and listening about friends, and school, and makeup. I will take joy in their accomplishments. I will build them up and remind them that they come from a long line of super strong women in a family pretty much dominated by super strong women.
My role is to be the aunt and Godmother and cousin of girls, my surrogate “daughters”, but I am the mother of sons.
I know I am lucky to be a mother at all. I will not squander my blessings by wishing I also had a daughter to spoil and love. My two precious boys need to be raised to be strong, loving, creative, smart, funny, capable young men. They will learn this from me. It is hard though, sometimes, to admit that I long for the love of a daughter. That sometimes I feel ill-equipped to deal with the raising of sons that I so wantonly embraced. That maybe, just maybe, it would have been easier to have girl children. At least I would know a little more about what they were going through.
I’ve learned that being a tomboy as a child does not prepare one for the physical energy of boys. I’ve learned that as much as I love boys and love sports and the outdoors and Harry Potter and Star Wars, there are some things I just don’t understand about boys.
I cannot imagine my life without my sons. I would not trade them for daughters. I guess I always assumed my life would contain both. When I found out I was having twins, I kind of thought maybe there would be one of each and that would be that. I’m glad that God knows better than I do.
Apparently, I was not meant to be the mother of a daughter. I just need to work on being the best daughter I can be. And make sure I raise the best sons I can.
Perhaps, someday FAR in the future, I will be rewarded with a granddaughter. Until then, I will delight in the daughters of the world including my nieces–the sunshine of my days.
Happy National Daughter’s Day (because, daughters!)