It was a good thing that I was lying down when they told me my first crotch parasite had a hot dog instead of a hamburger or I would have probably fallen over. I was 158% certain that the baby who had HER feet stuck up in MY liver was a GIRL, thankyouverymuch and her name was going to be Elise and excuse me?
SHE has a PENIS?
What the hell kind of GIRL has a PENIS?
Where did you get your ultrasound degree ANYWAY, lady? SEARS?
But she zoomed in and showed me a dangly bit and a comically large sack, and assured me that it wasn’t some circus freak of a girl/boy I was carrying. Nope, I was having a BOY. A bouncing beautiful baby BOY. (I made up the beautiful part because he sort of looked like a pixelated version of the blob)
I was TERRIFIED. We’d gone in for an emergency ultrasound because the doctor had heard “something” on the fetal heart tones that made him “unhappy” and I couldn’t get what specifically that was, and although I was only twenty at the time, I did love my baby, despite what all of the people who came up to tell me my business thought (oh, Pranksters, you have no idea, except those of you who do).
His heart turned out to be just perfect and his twig and berries, well, they were unexpectedly there, but fine as well.
And now, I was a mother. Of a boy. Pretty sure I was soon to be a single mother. Of a boy. I was shitting my pants. Or I would have been, had the prenatal vitamins allowed for it.
Several weeks before he was born, stuck for a name, it came to me suddenly and I named him Benjamin, meaning “son of my right side” and hoped that he could be a kind, strong, good and sweet person.
He is. That and so much more.
When I found out I was having his brother, Alexander, I scoured the shelves at the toy store to find him a non-girly baby doll, and when I did, Seth came home with us. Still Seth is a fixture in my house and he frequently is put down for naps, gets bottles, and gets his diaper changed.
Alex came rocketing into the world, in March of 2007 and I can tell you that no one was more excited than Ben.
I implore you to a) ignore the horrid jacket that my darling firstborn son is wearing because I DID NOT DRESS HIM and 2) please look at Alex’s face. It’s HILARIOUS. It’s also the way Alex looked for an entire year.
It turned out that all of the fears I’d had about having boys were unfounded. Of my children, if I am to fall down and hurt myself, it is my sons who will run over to comfort me and wrap their spindly arms around me until I assure them that I am fine. Amelia may come over and investigate, sure, but it will only be to then hurl something large at my head.
(she is her mother’s daughter and my clone in just about every way)
And Alex, oh sweet Alex, the small love of my life, he has his baby, too:
Sure, maybe he carries the thing around by the top of her head and sometimes throws her at the wall for a laugh, but his heart is so crushingly huge that I sometimes wonder if he really is related to me. And then he farts and laughs hysterically and I know that he clearly is.
It’s when they pile on top of me, the three of them, all elbows and knees and giggles, like a squirmy pack of puppies, that I know I’ve done right by them.
And I am happy. If I do nothing else in my life, I have done right by my children.