Years before I had my son, I always imagined myself with a daughter. I couldn't even imagine what it would be like to have a son. Since my wife felt exactly the opposite, I figured that at least one of us would be prepared for whatever Fate brought us.
During my pregnancy, I had a strong sense that I was having a boy, as did my wife. Since I had been teaching for several years at that point, I was not as frightened of having a boy. And I also began to realize that part of my fantasy about having a girl involved a desire to have a little me (and raise her right!). I became thankful that I was having a boy, because it was a strong reminder to me that my child is not me and I am not my child.*
Whenever I mention a desire to have another child, hypothetical or real, one of the questions I am asked is whether I want a boy or a girl. And the truth is that I don't care.
With a girl, we would have that perfect little balance of one boy, one girl. And there is that little bit of me that still wants a girl, and knows that I'm better prepared to raise an individual. Of course, if we have a girl, our son will be horribly outnumbered, the only male in an otherwise female household. I also fear getting a girl through her teen years more than a boy--so much more drama and subtle bitchiness.**
With a boy, our family would be gender-balanced. Plus, think of all the hand-me-downs! But, I shudder to think about two rambunctious boys running amok in our household.
I think my wife, she of the "I would have no idea what to do with a girl" plaint, is actually leaning towards a girl. And my son has shown a slight preference for a baby sister, though I'm not sure he's really thought it through.
And me? I just want that second line on the test next week.
* The irony is that he is so like me in many ways, in ways I wasn't even prepared for.
** Yes it's stereotyping, but most of what I witnessed fell into that same pattern.