One year ago today I found out I was having a little boy. I was disappointed. I had wanted a girl—deeply, almost desperately wanted a girl. It’s not that I don’t like boys just as much, but there’s just so many of them in my life. Five brothers. Loads of nephews. I love every man and boy in my life and wouldn’t trade any of them for a girl, but still…I wanted a daughter. I wanted some girl time. I wanted flowery dresses and mommy/daughter fun.
So when the ultrasound tech said with all kinds of enthusiasm, “It’s a boy!” I faked a smile and fought back tears. I pretended to be happy. I called my family and faked excitement as I gave them the news. And when all the calls and pretending were done, I sat in the car and cried. I felt horrible, selfish, and ungrateful. I had a perfectly healthy little boy growing away and all I could do was cry about not getting what I wanted. But it was more than that.
I felt like God had let me down.
This desire for a daughter was so deeply rooted in my heart that I honestly didn’t think God would deny me. And when he did, I felt like I was being taunted. Why had I wanted a girl so much if I was just going to be told no? Why couldn’t I will myself to want a son just as much as a daughter?
That night we went to dinner with Darren’s family to celebrate. We opened gifts of blue and cowboys and I felt a million miles away. I didn’t want to be there. I didn’t want to celebrate. When we left the restaurant the whole sky was robed in pink with the sunset; and I thought again that God was making fun of me with the world dressed in pink. Darren and I went to the mall after that to buy the first outfit for our baby boy—blue jeans, blue shirt, blue, blue, blue.
When we finally got home, I lay in bed and cried. Was I spoiled and wallowing in my own disappointment at not getting what I wanted? Probably. I have friends who want children but have instead faced infertility, miscarriage, and stillbirth. Though my heart hurts for them, I can’t pretend to understand what they’ve been through. And I’m sure I, with my perfectly healthy baby, must sound incredibly stupid and selfish complaining about something as simple as the specific gender of a child. I knew it then and I know it now and yet I couldn’t will myself to feel differently at the time.
But I have learned something since this day last year. I have learned from experience that sometimes what I want is not nearly as wonderful as what God wants to give me. Sometimes my plan isn’t best. Sometimes God withholds one thing to fill my heart and arms with something I didn’t even know I needed or wanted. God is, in fact, smarter than me.
The other night I sat on Roman’s nursery floor holding my sleeping boy in my arms. He was done eating, I could have put him to bed and gone to bed myself but I just couldn’t put him down. I wanted to hold and snuggle him because already he’s growing and changing so fast—it makes my heart hurt realizing I won’t always be able to snuggle him close in my arms. Once I had put him down and gone to bed, I lay there thinking about how I had once been disappointed over him, how I had thought I wanted something else. And I cried again, not out of disappointment, but out of disbelief that I had ever thought he wasn’t enough, wasn’t what I wanted. And I was thankful that God knew better and gave a gift I cannot deserve.
When I hold this child, this child who I once cried hot tears of disappointment over, I am thankful that God loves me enough to not always give me what I think I want. Somehow I think learned love is even better than love that comes naturally. When you have fought and worked for something, it means more to you than things simply given. I didn’t know if I would love my son as much as I would have loved a daughter, that’s the truth. But I can tell you, now that he’s here, I wouldn’t trade him for a dozen daughters and I can’t imagine loving any child more.