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I remember it like it was yesterday. I’m 20 weeks pregnant lying on the doctor’s exam table getting an ultrasound. 
 
“It’s a boy!” the ultrasound technician says.
 
I remember feeling surprised and scared. Surprised because I already had a daughter and was assuming that this one would also be a little girl. Yet, fear, because after all, I grew up with a sister and knew nothing about little boys.
 
Fast forwarding to now. My son is six and the loveliest little boy you could ever imagine. He is brave, funny, smart, and strong. He has the most kissable chubby cheeks and he loves to cuddle his mama. He would do anything for me and the feeling is mutual for him.
 
Both of my children are the light of my life. They complete me and are the yin and yang of the family. 
 
I’ve also gotten used to little boys. I love their smiling faces, loud voices, and boisterous play. 
 
The other day my son was running around with his friends like pirates. Their jackets were over their heads and their voices were projecting in stereo.
 
My son covered in paint from a school art project ran over and quickly gave me a hug. His little face was dirty but his eyes were lit up with happiness.
 
“Ugh, I’m glad I don’t have any boys,” said a woman standing nearby with her daughter.
 
Caught off guard, I wasn’t sure how to respond to this stranger. Deep down I wanted to defend and preach to her how wonderful boys are, but I didn’t. Instead, I made a lighthearted remark about how little boys have so much energy.
 
A million conflicted thoughts were going through my mind but I kept those to myself.
 
What I wanted to say though is that yes, daughters are wonderful but so are sons and mine isn’t loved any less than my daughter. 
 
When my son has a nightmare and he sees monsters in his room, it’s me that he calls. When I am having a bad day and my son sees my sadness, it’s me that he hugs. My son doesn’t hold grudges, he forgives and forgets easily. He may be rough and dirty at times but his love is constant. Would you still be saying this if you knew that late at night when I’m tucking him in–he whispers that he’ll take care of me when I’m old. 
 
I don’t think it’s right to make comments that you’re glad you didn’t birth a specific gender–at least not when it’s referring to someone’s child. This applies to girls too. Why should a mother with several daughters be told that she’s missing out by not having a son. After all, when it comes down to it, we love our children regardless and are thankful when they are born healthy.
 
I wonder if this person would have liked it if someone told her that they were glad they never had any daughters.
 
Children are wonderful–especially when they’re six years old. So please don’t tell me that you’re glad you don’t have any boys.

Erica Sutherland

E. Sutherland resides in California with her husband and two children. Along with working full-time and being a mom (which is her favorite job!) she also writes in her spare time. Every essay is inspired by her children.

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