Sunday, March 05, 2006

Sons and Daughters

I adore baby boys. I think they are the cutest things in the whole world--pudgy, fat fingers, rolly-poly legs, tromping and banging through life with all the grace of a wrecking-ball. Then they turn to their mamas and oh, my...the sweetness and adoration and cuddles that they can generate! There is a special bond between mothers and baby boys that is unmatched in any other relationship, and I'm convinced that even a man's wife cannot possibly love him as much as his mama.

But I should state all of that with this one disclaimer--I adore baby girls. Sweet and delicate and easily offended, a little girl daintily charts her way through life with intent and a gentle touch, feeling her way with deft little fingers that pick and lift and stroke (and sometimes grab and pull, much to the cat's dismay.) Mama is her safety, her companion, her friend, and Daddy is her object of adoration.

I have one of each, a son and a daughter. I was convinced that I wanted two boys, and that life would be great that way. I could raise boys--they are uncomplicated, fun, rough and tumble, loving, and eat a lot. I like all of that. Girls play with dolls and like frilly things and role-play a lot (just like I did when I was little) but something in me forgot how to like that stuff...until I had a girl. When I first found out she was a girl, I had the thought, "What does one do with a girl?" until our first "conversation" in the hospital. I picked her up and looked at her, and she looked me in the eye and opened her mouth wide at me. She didn't fuss or cry or wimper. I replied, "Oh, you want to nurse. Okay. I can do that!" and from that moment on I felt that we had an understanding, us girls. I have that...and the adoration of a sweet son who makes no apologies for loving guns, projectile objects, all manner of fighting robots, and noise in general. They are so different, and I love them so completely for who they are.

Edna St. Vincent Millay says of an autumn scene in the poem God's World:

Long have I known a glory in it all,
But never knew I this:
Here such a passion is
As stretcheth me apart,--Lord I do fear
Thsou'st made the world too beautiful this y ear;
My soul is all but out of me,--let fall
No burning leaf; prithee; let no bird call.

This poem describes an encounter with beauty, in this case a breathtaking autumn landscape, but in my case, I recall this poem often when I consider my passion for my children. My soul is all but out of me...

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