To the lady at Panera,
As my family sat down to what was guaranteed to be a chaotic lunch, you smiled at me. You meant well, I know you did. However, in the last couple of weeks, I’ve seen that look a couple of times. In January, my husband and I welcomed baby boy number three and the looks keep coming.
We hurried through our lunch with a game of musical seats, trying to calm the new baby and the constant repetition of “please eat” to our oldest kids knowing our time is limited in public.
As you finished your meal, I saw you walking toward us, and I dug down deep for my brave mommy look. You smiled at me and the boys and said so softly, “God bless your heart.” I smiled and said, “Thank you.” I even gave you a chuckle as you said, “At least you didn’t have to buy new clothes.”
As you walked away, I told you to have a blessed day and then tucked my head.
My eyes began to swell with tears. I tried really hard to keep the rivers from flowing. See God bless your heart was so sweet of you to say, and I was thankful to hear that. It was the comment of at least you didn’t have to buy new clothes when I realized you were counting the number of boys in my family, and at that moment, the tears rolled down my face. I blamed it on the hormones of an exhausted mama but the truth is, that was not at all what it was.
You see, you didn’t know. How could you? We were strangers and probably will never cross paths again. You had no clue that from as long as I could remember, I thought I would have a daughter. Everyone gets a boy and a girl, right? How I dreamed of doing her hair for school and dressing her in the cutest of outfits. How I envisioned her blonde ringlets in a ponytail with her embroidered Pottery Barn backpack on her back as she walked into school.
Fast forward through dance class, painted nails, and Barbie dolls and it’s prom season. Her grandmas and I are out shopping with her for the most elegant of dresses. It’s now her wedding day, and I’m there helping her with her veil. As she heads down the aisle to become someone’s wife, we both tear up remembering the memories of the years we have shared.
Years later, she is pregnant—she calls me with questions, and I listen to her excitement and fears as she tells me about becoming a mom. This passion and joy definitely stem from my own mom being one of the most amazing people I will ever meet.
Surely, you didn’t know that as I stroll through the department stores, I always walk in the girl section. I can vividly see a little girl who looks similar to the boys wearing some of those outfits. If you and I sat down to talk, I would tell you I have a Pinterest board titled “Dreaming of a Girl!” I would explain to you that while I’m getting my oil changed or when my insomnia strikes, I pin outfits, nursery decorations, quotes, headbands, and all things girl.
You will never know that at the sheer moment of hearing it’s a boy this last time, my dreams might have been just that—dreams and not a reality of ever having a daughter.
As I sat up through multiple nursing sessions in the first couple of weeks, I prayed, and I don’t mean just like a little prayer. In those moments alone and in pain from a C-section, the real thoughts come out, and I’m not at all scared to share them with you.
I prayed, as a mother of three boys, to find peace.
I wanted to be peaceful in the fact that at this present moment, I am a boy mom. I prayed to be able to accept things I cannot change and remind myself that God gave me this sweet boy.
I sang that Blake Shelton song to the baby multiple times when I felt like a failure for hoping he was a girl. I would sing, “God gave me you for the ups and downs. God gave me you for the days of doubt.” I asked that God give me the ability to accept the superheroes, the sports games, and the LEGOs that have left clear marks on my feet.
I was hopeful God would show me the right path to guide my sons to be respectful members of society and walk by faith in all aspects of their life. That he would show me exactly how to raise them to be good husbands and fathers. That they would realize the importance of calling home to their mama on a regular basis when they get older.