When I was just a little girl, a weird lady from our community claimed that she could predict not only how many children you would have, but also their gender and the order in which you would have them. I caved in and had her check in on my future offspring. She used a ring tied to a string and if the ring swung in circles it indicated a girl, while a straight back and forth swing indicated a boy. My ring never swung in circles – just back and forth: three times. So when I went in for my first ultrasound many years later, I was not at all surprised when the doctor pointed at that extra male appendage. At the second baby ultrasound, again, the doctor showed me you know what. By the time I reached my third baby’s ultrasound I dreaded that devilish woman and her stupid prediction. I wanted a girl so badly. Someone that could be like me, someone that would wear pink tutus and play with dolls. But I knew deep down that I was bound to have yet another boy. This time the doctor didn’t even have to point it out to me: I became an expert at decoding ultrasound pictures of little wee-wees. So there’s that: no more chances of pink for me (have you tried paying the grocery bill for 3 boys and the dad?? No more babies allowed!) But then something happened.
Maybe when I had Baby G I was too young to notice it. And maybe when I had Baby D I was too busy with a toddler and a newborn to notice it. But this time around with Baby W, I am older, more mature, calmer, wiser, and I tend to notice more details than I did with his older brothers. There is just something between a boy and his mom that is so special and so grand and I have it threefold!
We were out with family one day and Baby W was passed around like a hot potato: everyone wanting to hold him. He fussed a bit as all babies do, but when he got back to me, he just looked at me. And I mean LOOKED. His eyes were deep in mine. I talked to him and I smiled at him. I saw that look he gave back at me: it was so full of love, pure pure pure love. It might be due to the fact that I am his sole source of food, but it has to be more than that. I mean, I don’t look at the oven like that, and I love food! But his look reflected peace, comfort, happiness. I didn’t see that look on his face when he was with other people.
My eyes were opened now to this new idea that I might actually be really special out there to someone, that I might be the Queen Bee in a house full of boys. I tested my theory in two ways: with my older boys, and with another baby.
I started watching Baby G and Baby D: they don’t want to be swaddled and held close, but they do listen to me and react differently to me than they do with anyone else. When they came home from school last week, I left them each a note on the door. Baby G’s note was detailed: it listed the chores, his responsibilities, and then thanked him for being a great big brother. Signed, I love you, Mamma. Baby D’s was more simple, easier for a new reader: a picture of a big smiling sun and the words: I love you so much! Mamma. The boys’ reactions to the notes were similar to Baby W’s reaction when reaching me during his hot potato toss. Their eyes shined with happiness and ease, and all it took was a note! What power do I have over these boys? What power does any mother have over her boys?
My second test involved another baby. I used Baby M as my guinea pig. He is my Godson and just a month older than Baby W. He is a sweet beautiful baby boy, but the key to the test is that I am not his mother. I held Baby M and I cooed with him and kissed him and cuddled with him, I looked at his face. He looked content, happy even, but it was not the same. He gave the boys the same look when they came in close and made silly faces at him. He likes us, that’s for sure, but he doesn’t love me as deeply. But his mamma – oh I saw him with her – he was mesmerized by her face, so thrilled to see her with him again. She has that power too!
So today I sit here with the realization that I have been given this honor to raise three boys, just as that lady had predicted years ago. I won’t be playing with dolls or dressing them in pink, but I will forever be the Queen Bee. The Man has told me that he fears the day the boys bring home their first girlfriend because he knows how rough I will be on that young girl. So long as she is fantastic, smart, beautiful, great, amazing and…maybe I will be OK passing on the privilege of my being with my boys.