Sometimes, I worry that I sound too disappointed when I talk about having a boy. As I've written before, my disappointment is not really "this is a disappointment" and more "that was not what I expected." I'm less disappointed, actually, and more sad. When my friend from college, Bek, was visiting, I managed to convey just why I wanted a little girl so bad: I love my mom. That's it, pure and simple. I love my mom; I talk to hear at least once a day by text and visit her as much as I can. I love our relationship. I love that when I was 14 and just about to go into high school, she took me shopping and told me, in no uncertain terms, that I was beautiful and would always be successful because I was smart and that I would really enjoy high school. (That last bit was wishful thinking for both of us.) I love going to Portland with her, running errands, looking through old photos. I love my mom. And I wanted a little girl so I could have the same kind of relationship, because the relationship between mothers and daughters is vastly different from that between mothers and sons.
I realize now, after a lot of time having passed between finding out little Forrest's gender and now, that that kind of expectation can be really damaging. By trying to force a certain kind of relationship on my child and I, I would undoubtedly be disappointed over and over again. I don't know what Forrest will be like and, even if he was a girl, I have no idea if we would connect and bond the exact same way my mother and I do.
Thanks to the relationship between my mother and I, I know exactly how to be a great mother to a daughter: I know the things I want to say and the things I don't want to say; I know what to do, how to act, how to talk. What I don't know is how to be a mother to a son because, well, that's just not my experience.
For now, all I can do is focus on the things I'm excited to do with Forrest and hope that he enjoys them to... and that I learn, somewhere along the way, how to be the best mommy I can be.
Here's a short list of all the things Forrest can be assured I will drag him to:
- Disneyland. Thanks to my friend, Meghan, I have a set of Mickey Mouse ears for him already. Several people have asked me what I'll do if Forrest doesn't like Disneyland. But really, does anyone not like Disneyland? It all depends on your experience. And I'm going to make sure he has the best time. Mainly because we'll go in the off season.
- Halloweentown. Did you know the classic Disney Channel Original Halloweentown was filmed in St. Helens, Oregon? And did you know that every year they recreate the set of the movie in St. Helens, Oregon? Did you know I grew up obsessed with Halloweentown and did not know this fact until just two days ago? Did you know that literally nothing will stop me from dragging Forrest there next year and maybe this year?
- Countless posed portrait shoots. Gotta capture the cute... while forcing him to wear a tiny suit.
- The Newport Aquarium. And I will make him take a picture with the shark jaw, of course.
- The High Desert Museum. One of my favorite places around Bend, I don't think I've ever heard anyone talk about it. It's not as exciting as an aquarium or drive through safari, but I loved visiting as a kid and teenager. They have foxes, owls, and more, plus a replica of a central Oregon pioneer town. It's a mix of natural history and Oregon history, all wrapped up in one.
- A million different pumpkin patches. You will love Fall, Forrest. You will love it!