Most of the time I am okay with it, the fact that we will never have a son. I am so in love with our little family of four girls that it seems obvious that we were always supposed to be together, and a boy in the mix would seem out of place. I longed for a son, I expected a son, I dreamed of a son. Four times out of four, I was instead blessed with a daughter.
I have learned that it’s not an either/or situation, this mourning. I can be sad that I never met our son, while still being absolutely content with our family ‘as-is’. We know we are done with babies, and in making that decision, I had to come to terms with giving up the idea of ever meeting this almost-son. Most of the time it doesn’t phase me at all.
But sometimes, I find a picture of Thomas as a little boy, and I just can’t believe that the son we welcomed never showed up. “He would have looked like this” I think, knowing that that is irrational. I have no idea what our son would have looked like, any more than I know what my girls will be like as adults.
Expectation is a tough thing to let go of though, and if nothing else, parenthood has given my a lot of practice in just that. Letting go of what I thought I could control, what I thought I wanted, where I thought this journey would take us.
His name would have been Thomas Samuel, the 6th or 7th Thomas on Tom’s side, the name handed down generation after generation. After some deliberation about what to do about the tradition (offer to let a cousin take over if they have a boy, save the name in case we are able to adopt some day, change one of the girls names to Thomasina*) Tom finally decided to hold onto the name. “Maybe someday one of the girls will choose to name their son Thomas. I guess I better work on being the best dad ever, so they want to use it, huh?”
Girls, I hope someday you read this and know that A) I would not trade you for all the tiny boys in the world, and B) if you have a son, I will probably call him Thomas even if you name him something else, so save yourself the confusion. I’m calling dibs on naming your babies, decades before they are born. I’m really going to enjoy being a crazy grandma.
*Thomasina was never really an option, because I do not dislike my kids. Apologies to the Thomasina’s out there. I hope you go by Tommy or Tamsin, because that is actually pretty cute.