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Oh Boy (or Girl)!

2011 June 6

It’s a big day today.

First, it’s Lilly’s first day of summer camp ever and I’ve been nervous for her for weeks. It’s at her school. And she only just finished her school year a week and a half ago so it’s not a huge change in routine. But she’ll have new teachers (aka camp counselors) and new kids with her, and she’s been a bit on the clingy side lately so I’ve been second-guessing my decision to enroll her in camp rather than just giving her a break and some extra mommy-time.

Alas, I took her in this morning and – just like her first day of school – she couldn’t have been happier. She kissed me goodbye and happily went on her way. It amazes me how she takes all these changes in stride at two years old. I’m so proud of her. (And kind of proud of myself for containing my anxiety enough so as not to transfer it all to her. Whew!)

And then there’s the other big news of the day: we find out the gender of our newest addition! This is big news. Life-altering news. It’s kind of blowing my mind this morning. Will we be a family with two girls dominated by estrogen, pink, tantrums and girlhood drama? Or will we have one of each shuttling children between football and ballet, refereeing sibling rivalry before it descends into someone farting on someone’s face? I, for one, have no clue.

With Lilly, I never really had any doubt. I knew I was having a girl. From day 1, I had a gut feeling that my first child was a girl. I instinctively called her “she” in my mind. I had dreams night after night about having a little girl. The 20 week ultrasound was just confirmation, not a big surprise.

This time I just don’t know. Having two unexpected losses since Lilly obliterated any confidence I had in my mother’s intuition and my ability to “read my body.” Clearly, my body has a mind of its own.

Lilly, on the other hand, is confident, 100% certain that it’s a girl. Do not suggest otherwise. She will not hear it. No need. Because she’s having a sister. Not a brother.

This is both adorable and terrifying because while I’m thrilled that she is so excited about the idea of having a sister, I am a little afraid of how she will react if she hears she’s having a brother.

For weeks we have been trying to make her understand that there’s at least a possibility that she’ll have a brother. It’s like talking to a wall. Here’s a conversation we had this weekend:

ME: You know, Henry’s mommy has a baby in her belly also. Henry’s going to have a little brother soon.

LILLY: [excited gasp] I’m going to have a baby sister!

ME: Well, we don’t know yet if it’s a sister. It might be a brother. We don’t know yet.

LILLY: It’s a sister.

ME: It might be a boy or a girl. [silent pause] Will you be just as excited for a brother?

LILLY: I’m excited for a sister.

There’s no changing that girl’s mind. There was one time a couple weeks ago when I actually seemed to be making progress. Lilly seemed, for the moment, to be grasping the full possibilities. It could . . . possibly . . . theoretically be a boy. But then she just looked right at me and said in no uncertain terms: “I want no brothers in this house.”

Oh boy.

I personally don’t have a preference. I would love for Lilly to get her sister and have a lifelong girl-friend by her side. But I would also love to experience raising a boy and I know Elliott would love to keep his family name alive for another generation. Having a brother and a sister of my own, I know that both have their pros and cons from a sibling perspective, but mostly it’s just awesome to have a sibling. And that’s all I ever really wanted for Lilly (and this little peanut inside me).

Who knows? Maybe Lilly has some keen intuition that I am lacking. She is very zen-like. She might have some mystical insights into the matter. We’ll see . . . very soon.

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