Saturday, January 25, 2014

What isn't missing

It's a running joke in our family that we have only boys. I have four amazing sons, and six nephews (soon to be seven). I have been shopping with my sister as we slowly pass the baby girl section with longing and wistful looks at the christmas dresses with tulle and ribbons, and we have to skip the aisles of rows and rows of barbies with golden, brushable hair smiling from their shiny boxes. We say "Oh we would have LOVED this as a kid..." Currently, I know all about Bey Blades, and species of dinosaurs, and Skylanders Swap Force.
     One day a couple years ago, Elliott (now almost 7) had his first play date. It was this sweet little girl named Ava from his preschool class. I was more excited than he was as I pulled out a rubbermaid tub of my little ponies, and my precious shoe box of sea wees. See here if you are not a child of the 80s.
This adorable, pig tailed girl showed up, and I left them with peanut butter sandwiches at the counter while I went to dig out more vintage treasures. I came back out to Elliott and Ava "eating" my sea wees with Elliott's dinosaur collection. My face fell, and I went back to reminiscing over my sticker books...
Everyone says "Girls are drama, you're lucky", at least you didn't have to buy all new things, etc. etc. It doesn't help. I LOVE being a "boy mom", it makes you tough (like when you step on legos), you get to be a cheerleader at sports, my teenager plays guitar and plays chess like a boss, and except for the roughhousing and fights, they are mostly sweet, especially when my little Sawyer who is 5 still comes up and says "Mommy, you are so beautiful". And I know they will be fierce protectors of Chandler. I already miss the days when Luke used to catch frogs in the field behind my mom and dads house fourteen years ago. I see my 2 year old nephew Jake drive a "bus" (monster truck) across the floor, spitting as he makes truck noises and it reminds me that I won't see that anymore. My babies are boys now. (Elliott was climbing the rock wall at the Y for Cub Scouts today!) But every once in a while I get little glimpses of what I missed by having only boys. Today I took my boyfriends daughter dress shopping for a formal. She is in a fashion show at school for children with special needs and their mainstream peers. What a cool concept. Kids that might not get the chance at a "grand march" and parents that feel that pain of looking at prom season in the stores knowing that their child won't be going. It hurts. It's the cycle of grief that never stops. Reminders of our children's differences. The kids that take part in this, that want to increase social inclusion are amazing. I am glad to see the future leaders and the inspiring teens that do this.
     Walking into the dress store, she piled her arms full of dresses. Lace, sequins, ruffles, beads, flowers....I played with my phone, and sat on the floor drinking coffee. I began to look around. Thinking back to school days, and prom. Dress fittings for my sisters wedding. I watched mom and daughter pairs come in the door, one after another. The girls came in and out of the curtained rooms draped in layers of soft, shiny fabric. I suddenly wanted to play dress up. One after the next was tried on, and Sam and I laughed about some "NOT even an option, Nicole, I hate these ruffles", contemplated some, admired some, and finally decided on this beautiful black and sparkly one with a corset back. Stunning. She looked so pretty and we agreed this was "THE dress". I was blinking back tears thinking about what I get to do now. I may have missed out on my own daughter, but this is a close second. Sometimes we are too focused on what we don't have. What is missing. There are daily reminders in my life that nothing is missing. Things are as they should be.

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