When you find out your pregnant and people ask what you want (girl or boy), we usually reply with the routine answer, "I just want a healthy baby." I am not trying to downplay this response because, at the end of the day, the only thing that matters is that your child is well, strong, and able-bodied but if you're honest, most of us want something.
Mike and I were recently in our car, driving home from a school event. I don't remember what sparked the conversation, but what we got to talking about was what our daughter would be like.
I blurted out very firmly and surely, "I hope she's not boring."
Mike, ever the gentle and rational spirit responds, "Out of everything, that's what you want? So not kind or good? She could be mean... or a slut, but not boring?"
(Sluts aside) I said, "Yeah. Who likes a boring person? Really, who? No one calls a boring person or wants to hang out with a boring person. Boring sucks"
This may sound harsh but think about what boring really means. Boring can't make you laugh. Boring doesn't inspire you; boring doesn't make you happy or angry. Biring is just boring. Like all of our conversations, this one made us laugh and seriously think about what we hoped for our daughter. I started to think about how others might feel about this. Can anyone honestly tell me that there aren't some things you would rather have your child be over others? Not even one? Maybe you want your daughter to be a creative artist instead of a serious businesswoman. Maybe you want your son to be strong and athletic instead of a funny guy. No one is saying that you will love your child any less, but we all have a preference, don't we? And while my reactions can sometimes be blunt and emotional, they are always honest. Doesn't it make sense that I would not want a boring kid? Was I the only person that felt this way?
What was funny is that in the last week, I have seen and heard that I'm not the only one. The other day, I was watching Ellen DeGeneres who had Amy Adams on her show. Amy has a daughter and they were talking about all of the sleepless nights and dramatics that come with being a mom and raising kids. Somehow, Amy Adams started talking about how when she was pregnant she started thinking that she really hoped her kid was funny and she said to her husband, "What if she's not? What if she's not funny?" I don't remember his response but she continued that it became this very irrational concern of hers that her kid be funny. Ellen, of course asked her, "So... is she funny?" And Amy Adams responded with an approving story of her daughter's sense of humor.
I looked at Mike and said, "See? She wanted a funny kid and I want a not boring one."
A different day, Mike and I were in the car on the way home from school where he was telling me about a conference he had earlier with a parent. Mike had shared his thoughts about the student and then mom asked how her son was in class.
Mike responded, "He's good. He's respectful. A little chatty..."
Mom asked with an inclination in her voice that sounded like she was looking for a specific answer, "Is he shy?"
"No," Mike answered instantly putting her at ease.
With a sigh of relief she replied, "Good. I don't want him to be shy."
I was utterly excited at Mike telling me this story. Here I was thinking that I was mean for saying that I wanted a non-boring child but other people wanted things too. I want her to be funny. I don't want him to be shy. Organized, curious, decisive, name it and most of us have something that we want our children to be.
It's ok to want things. It doesn't mean they will happen or that you could (or should) force it, but it's ok to want them. I know that regardless of what she turns out like, I am going to love her because she's my daughter. I am going to think that she is the most entertaining, witty, clever, kind, and funny girl I know, even if she isn't. Just like I know Jersey is fragile and Olive is pushy and I love them anyway; I will love Rafaella for everything she is and everything she isn't.
But not boring. Boring I can't do.
So what about you? What would you choose? Be honest. No judgement, I swear.
Look at this mischievous NOT boring face!