Boy, oh Boy

Category: By Christian
We found out a couple of weeks ago that we are having a little boy.

I know you aren't supposed to say stuff like this out loud, but we were both hoping for a boy.

Before everyone goes nuts, hear me out. There are a lot of guys out there who want a boy because they feel like they "need" that little boy experience. Not so much with me. Quite frankly, the numerous hours I put in with the 13 middle school boys at work each week enough boy time for an army of men.

Elli has actually been a nice juxtaposition to my work day. I have loved having a little girl. It's been fun to do her hair and pick out her outfits and generally spend time with the little lady. I wouldn't have traded it for the world.

But in the end, I think she will be better off with a brother. I'm sure there will be days during her high school years where she will beg to differ. But as annoying as younger brothers can be, in this case it will provide a lot less anxiety for her.

One of the trying aspects of adoption is that people tend to say really stupid stuff. We've been spared a lot of that, because as a mixed ethnicity family there is enough racial ambiguity going on when people see us that it's not completely obvious that Elli is adopted.

What is not ambiguous is the fact that Elli is small for her age. She always has been. When we got to Vietnam to pick her up, she was a 10-pound 9 month old. Part of this was due to her prematurity and 1kg birth weight, but ethnicity played a large role as well. We didn't see too many women in Vietnam who were over 100 lbs. So Elli isn't going to be a large person, and that's fine.

The problem is that people are always pointing it out. It's like a big race to win the award of "Capitan Obvious". The practice was fine when she was little, but she's 3 now. And even though she isn't all that outgoing in public, she has well developed language skills. She is also very self-aware. And my fear is that she's going to develop a complex someday because everyone is always telling her how little she is.

I think having a little brother softens the issue. American babies are big. Really big. I was a fat baby with a huge noggin'. Triple thigh rolls fat. My guess is that it will be way more socially acceptable to have a little brother who is bigger than you are. It would have been really tough for Elli to have a younger sister way bigger than her, and everyone making comparisons all the time. But it would have also been difficult for the younger sister, as everyone would be labelling her de facto fat. In a teenager's mind there isn't a huge difference between "You're so much bigger than your older sister", and "You're such a fat cow".

As parents we will undoubtedly have to deal with a myriad of body image issues throughout the years. When all the cool kids show up airbrushed on the cover of Seventeen and Jennifer Anniston proves her youthful vitality by posing nude on the cover of GQ to celebrate her 40th birthday, we are setting ourselves up for a lot of conversations about what it means to look like an actual real person. Welcome to America, kids. But God did make our job a little bit easier by diversifying our gender portfolio and sparing both kids from damaging comparisons flying unfiltered from the mouths of fools.

So even though I'm not supposed to say it, I will. I'm glad we are having a boy.

Renew and Restore

2 comments so far.

  1. Jennifer 8:47 AM
    Before we found out that Anna was a girl, we both wanted a boy...ya know, that whole big brother thing. But I'm seriously glad that we had a girl first. She has been such an amazing big sister--a little mother hen. And even though Jacob is almost the same size she is, she still asks to hold him! :) So even though he's not the "big brother" to her, he'll still be bigger and watch out for her when they're older. And really...had Jacob come first I might have considered waiting 5 years before having another one! Little boys take a LOT of energy!!!
    We're very excited for your family. I'm sure Elli will be a great she excited about the prospect of a new baby? Anna's been tormenting us with "When are we getting a new baby? We need another baby, Mama." I told her not for a long time, which evidently to her is after Christmas b/c she told my Mom that she's getting a "just born" (read newborn) baby...after Christmas she can "ask Mama again" HA!
  2. Christian 6:38 AM
    Yeah, Elli is excited but she doesn't really get it yet. She knows a lot of pregnant women, but she doesn't actually know any women who have been pregnant AND had their baby. So that's a little bit of a struggle for her, because she is really under the impression that every single person she knows (including her and me) have babies perpetually occupying our insides.

Something to say?