Family, Self

I Feel Thankful For My Sons

mother with son

I'm glad I have sons... and only sons. My friends who are mothers of daughters say that if I had given birth to two daughters instead, I'd be just as glad. I'm not so sure. When I was pregnant with each of my sons, I was convinced from the start that I carrying boys. And even before that, when I was still just musing about being a mother, it was never a little girl that I pictured. Good thing, right?

I sometimes joke about how ill equipped I'd be to have a daughter. Though I like shopping for clothes, I'm mostly uninterested in feminine things. Hair, nails, fashion, makeup, girl talk and a household in which more than one family member may have PMS at the same time all leave me cold.

On a recent episode of the new Tom Selleck police family drama, Blue Bloods, his character's female grandchild gets a little smart-mouthed at the Sunday dinner table, and then storms off. Upon seeing this, I instantly looked over at my husband and declared, "See? That's why I'm glad I have sons." A second later, on the television, the child's aunt, a mother of two boys, casually remarked, as she scooped potatoes onto her plate, "And that's why I'm glad I have boys." Frank and I nodded, laughed and high-fived.

Frank has always said that he's glad to have boys, too. When parents we know relate stories of their daughters' tantrums—over tights, true love or the calories in a TicTac—we catch one another's eye and exchange a knowing smile. A Father Plans For The Sex Talk With His Daughter

My husband also seems uniquely suited to having sons. They're buddies, the three of them—watching or playing sports, camping, competing to come up with the quickest computer fixes, putting off taking showers for as long as possible. Not that they're mini macho men. Frank is an affectionate father, and the boys—now a teenager and a tween—still hug and tolerate parental kisses. And they can cook, too!

When one of my sons exclaims that girls confuse him, Frank nods knowingly and I try to decode for him what she may have meant by what she did, said or sort-of-implied. If I had a girl and she asked me to help her sort out boys' behavior... well... I'd probably just throw my hands in the air and suggest we get a latte instead.

After our sons were both in grade school, people often asked if we would "try for a girl." I always found this question offensive, and would respond brightly, "Nope!" If I'm being more philosophical, I explain that—knowing my reluctance about motherhood—Mother Nature knew just what she was doing in sending me sons. Confession: I Was A Reluctant Mother

But even now, lots of people—often people who should know better—ask me if I miss having a girl. I don't. I have no idea what that would look or feel like. I only know that I don't long for it, don't think I'm missing out on an important aspect of family life, don't wish I had a daughter to talk to or to relive my youth through. And anyway, there's something about that questions that, to me anyway, implies that sons are not enough. They are.

The one question no one asks is if, despite his bravado, my husband is missing out on the wonderful experience of parenting a child of the opposite sex. That's a tougher question, one not so easily dispatched with a wisecrack rejoinder. Someday, I suggest to him, there may be a granddaughter.

"Heaven help us," he mutters.

Maybe heaven might.