August 27, 2009
Expecting a girl baby is weird.
When James popped out, I was like, "Oh hey, you're a boy. Just so you know, you can be a doctor, a plumber, a Peace Corps volunteer, a teacher--I really don't care. The world's your oyster, kid. Just be sure to call your mother every once in a while."
And now that we have a girl on the way, I've got to admit that my attitude is totally and completely different. Maybe I should just go ahead and call it what it is--desperate. Desperate to teach this little girl that she can be whatever she wants to be, career, family and otherwise.
If you were to peek inside my bedroom window, you'd find me lecturing my stomach on a very regular basis. I'm like, "You listen here Lawlet Lawson! You will do whatever you want to do with your life and you won't think a damn thing about it! If you want to be a stay-at-home-mom, great. If you want to be the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, great. If you want to be an artist or a Buddhist nun, great. If you want to get all rich off some good idea and support your mother for the rest of her life then that's fine, too."
Then I take a deep gasp and I'm all, "Zero kids or twenty Lawlet, it's totally up to you. Never let a mechanic rip you off. Never rely on a man to be your source of self esteem. Never pay attention to fashion magazines and those stick-thin models. Always flash your middle finger when someone whistles at you. JUST BE HAPPY TO BE YOURSELF, DAMNIT!"
Then I cry, hyperventilate a little bit, and numb my anxieties with junk food. It's all very healthy. All very normal.
I was raised in a family that taught me all of those very important values. I played sports, I played the drums, I have a master's degree, I was a stay-at-home mom for three years, and I essentially told a contractor to eff-off yesterday when he exercised some super shady sales tactics--so to be quite honest, I'm not exactly sure where this is coming from. But let me assure you over and over, it keeps on coming.
Last night, Jared and I were going back and forth about middle names for this baby girl, without any sort of forward progress. Finally, after thirty minutes or so, Jared said, "You know, I don't even think girls should have middle names."
And sure enough, out came the 'I am Woman Mama Bear, Now Hear Me Roar' claws. I was like, "I'm sorry, what's that now? Girls don't need middle names?! Care to explain yourself you chauvinistic bastard of a penis carrier?"
And poor Jared, he just kind of sunk into himself and was like, "Well my mom and sisters don't have middle names. They just made their maiden names into their middle names when they got married."
"Is that so!?" I ranted. "Why don't you just hoist your scrotum up a flag pole and tell the world how superior you are? Huh? Really. Why don't you do that, Jared?"
And he was all, "On second thought, she really needs a middle name. I changed my mind."
And I was all, "What if she doesn't want to get married, Jared? What if she's too busy hiking Everest, or surfing in Tahiti, or nursing sick people back to health to even think about a husband?! What then?! She's supposed to walk around all middle-nameless for the rest of her life?! You're despicable."
"I'm sorry," he mumbled.
"And what else do I need to know?" I continued. "You'll disown her if she's a lesbian? Is that what you're about to tell me next? UCK! You totally disgust me!"
So he quietly said, "What about June? I think that's a really nice middle name. After my Grandma."
"Huh. June. I like that, too. Or maybe Elizabeth," I suggested. "It's classic."
And we continued like that--agreeably, peaceably, thoughtfully--for another thirty minutes.
Just a little mood swing, I suppose. A mere touch of overreaction.
So tell me this--Am I insane? Am I the only mother who's ever felt this way about raising a little girl? Should I have kept this entire subject to myself and never admitted these feelings in public? Am I about to get flogged in the comments?
I'm curious (and scared to press the PUBLISH POST button).