Can you have a crush on a baby? Your own baby? Is that weird?
People tell me all the time that the girl will travel the earth to be as unlike me as she can get, but dissimilarly the boy will hold all women up to the light of my image.
They also say, "A daughter is a daughter the rest of her life, a son is a son until he takes a wife."
I tell you what, though, after becoming the mother of a boy I can completely understand where the term "Son of a Bitch" comes from.
It's a rivalry over all the wrong things.
What I hold sentimental for my children I expect to pass along to them as they get ready to settle into lives apart from me. The Christmas ornaments, the photographs, first clothes, handmade quilts and heirloom toys. Things that have meaning for me, and that I hope will have meaning for them one day.
Perhaps it only shows my own errant perspective on gender, but I assume girls become the keepers of their family's sentiment while the future wives of boys become the unwitting collectors of junk that has no meaning them.
Perhaps it's all futile really, this stuff we hold dear. It's not really the things but the memory of times that things recall. It's mine not theirs. And yet it is theirs: The cradle that they slept in, that their father slept in; the cup that bears her name, and her great, great grandmothers' name; the ancient spoon they were fed their first foods from; the sweater their auntie wore.
We get hung up on things because they are tangible.
We can't really hold on to a memory. We can't watch our children change and grow and move away from us without some degree of sadness.
And life is so arbitrary.
Everyone has a way that differs from another from the way we look to the way we think. Everything causes strife. We can't stand when the helpful mother-in-law comes and re-arranges the untensil drawer.
We imagine it's because SHE wants it HER way. She is engaging in a power struggle because she thinks things SHOULD be different. Maybe she thinks her son (or daughter) should have married a different person; a better person.
The rivary can spin out of control over things.
But what if she just GUESSED wrong? What if she put the knives where the forks usually go because the drawer was empty and she couldn't remember where they'd been when she set the table the night before?
Why do mothers have to lose sons as that old cliched saying goes? Why can't they gain daughters? Isn't it possible we're more alike that we think?