More often than not, I am very glad to have 2 boys. Very glad.
I honestly think having boys is easier. As one father of a daughter put it, “When you have boys you only have to worry about one penis. When you have girls, you have to worry about all of them.”
The stories of Amanda Todd, Steubenville, and Rehtaeh Parsons haven’t made me think the modern life of a young girl will be any easier. Yes, parents lay the foundation of an identity, but there is a time when you have to let them go into the wild, and I just wonder how any young girl will be able to successfully navigate the new world order. Any parent that gets them through that drama gets my eternal respect.
Having 2 boys has gone as smoothly as one could expect. The clothes hand-down with simplicity. When it comes to play acting out scenarios, they are both about Lego, Batman, Spider-Man, and Star Wars. They speak the same language and love each other dearly. Sure, there’s more wrestling than I would like to see in the living room, and I’m constantly perplexed why everything needs to be made into a gun complete with sound effects, but I’m happy with the life I have.
And yet, despite all that, I wonder about the daughter I never had – Amélie.
I would have bet you my life savings that we were having a girl when Zacharie was born. I wasn’t so sure the second time, but just as we did in the beach sand of Cuba in January of 2007, when Jennifer and I visited Easter Island in the summer of 2009, we wrote 2 names in the sand. In Cuba, the waves wiped away Zacharie and Amélie. In 2010, Amélie’s name would once again be written, this time next to Charlie.
I think about Amélie every now and again. I don’t want a third child, I had the snip and am more than satisfied with the ‘excitement’ Z and Chooch bring to my life, but still … I wonder where she is and how would life have been different if one of our bedrooms had a splash of pink.
I wrote about our “missing” daughter Astrid recently. We too have two boys and for all the benefits you described and for all the craziness that comes with brothers I love our family unit.
But I know my wife would love to have her little girl, if not for fact there’d be less testosterone in the house per capita, there’d be one more person to cuddle and no little penis to get in the way.
And whilst Astrid might not have her room painted pink, I am sure that they’d be a load of laundry that she’d have to herself.
I have a daughter. And a son. I used to think/say the same things regarding my daughter and how it would be easier with just sons. But the more times I read this and the more I think about it the more I dislike it.
Yes, with my daughter, I will worry about “all the penises” but those same penises will potentially be a threat to my son as well. I think back to my youth and I read the news these days and my son’s life won’t be a breeze. My daughter may be at risk for date rape but my son will be at risk for physical assault. Those same assholes that treat women like garbage are equally willing to beat the crap out of guys that they think threaten them or talk to “their women” and what not. The suicides of Amanda and Rehtaeh may grab headlines but boys kill themselves too. In my life I personally know of four people who have taken their own life; three were male. And even things as simple as heartbreak will be equally difficult for my son as my daughter.
Society continues to be obsessed with fear for our girls and the need for fathers to protect them. But our sons are vulnerable too just in different ways. Different ways but not less traumatic ways.
And on a brighter note, the exuberant wrestling and perplexing turning everything into a gun happens here just as much with one of each!