A note to myself: to be read Fall of 2009
This is just to say

This afternoon I was driving somewhere and as I made my way through a parking lot I saw a mom and her little girl. The mom had clearly just finished work and was picking up her daughter at daycare. She leaned in, toward whatever it was the girl was saying. She held the child's hand and slowed her pace to match.

And the pace was rather slow, because the girl was wearing a pair of plastic dress-up shoes. They were pink, and the afternoon sun lit up the hollow heels, making them glow just exactly as they probably do in their small owner's mind. She took tiny, careful steps, because sparkly pink plastic shoes are not made for actually walking in.

I slowed to a crawl and watched them make their way to the car. I remember that relationship from one side, being the irrational little person with intense fashion views. That mother, though, knows a whole world that is opaque to me.

People keep telling me this baby fluttering under my belly button is a girl. Must be, they say, looking meaningfully at my troop of boys. I know, they know, we all know that this baby must only be whatever he or she already is. But the idea of a daughter, it seems to fit, doesn't it? Makes for a satisfying plot arc?

I do not know if I am hoping for a girl. That is the honest truth. There is so much about raising a daughter that I don't know. Questions of Barbie and when do you allow makeup and how would I teach her to respect herself in a world that venerates Paris Hilton? I know I gave my mother a special sort of stress during my teen years, and I'm not sure I'm up to that particular dose of karma.

But I suppose I've learned during my thirteen year tenure as mom that you never know what you can do until you have to do it.

And so I slow down to watch the mother and daughter, and wonder what it would be like to hold a princess' hand for once.

All I know for sure is that I'm glad it's not my decision. 



Little girls are wonderful. But then, I hear boys are wonderful too. ;)

One thing is for certain: whoever he or she turns out to be, you won't want this little baby to have been anyone else.

And you are right, we're so lucky that we don't have to make the decision. I think the One who makes it is so much better equipped to do so!

Amma Always

Mostly I like the idea of a girl for two reasons: First, so that you can know the special joy of having a daughter - which far outweighs that "special sort of stress". And second, because it seems that it would throw the boys into such a state of confusion and cognitive dissonance! I would just love to witness that.

But as you and others have said - it is what it is already. And I am so looking forward to meeting this particular little "future saint."


you must be the last woman in the USA who didn't find out as soon as possible what sex the baby is. I mean, how will you know what color clothes to buy? What color to paint the nursery? Drives me nuts. As if there's a law that girls have to have pink and boys have to have blue. talk about socializing gender roles from the crib.

My wife and I didn't want to know, specifically asked the doctor to not tell us. Part of the magic of having our children was finding out during childbirth. We didn't care what gender they would be - and we were ?rewarded? with one of each.

I am more than certain that you will be a fantastic parent to a girl should statistics come up craps and give you one.

(I'm so sorry to rant during my first comment to your lovely blog. I'm really not like that - much. ask Mir. she's the one that told me I TOTALLY had to start reading your blog. How can I not?)


I can't wait to meet the latest addition to the Martin family - whomever that is.


I raised a boy - now I have a granddaughter. There is such a bond that forms in hair ribbons and lip gloss, princess dresses and baking brownies - The love is the same though...


My guess is a girl because you still seem to not be feeling well. They say baby girls rob the beauty from their mother. I don't know if that is true but from what I have read, you aren't feeling much like a beauty queen lately. No offense, I am sure you look lovely (did you do something different with your hair? It looks great!)

I have a girl and two boys. Girls are definetly different. I remember reading a book of short stories about raising girls called "Its a Girl: Women Writers on Raising Daughters". They have one for boys too. I think you would like either book. It does illustrate how, like with most things parenting, there are a million right ways to do it.

I think (not that you asked, nor is it my business) that you have a group of wonderful young men. One more would only make the group bigger and more wonderful (and more men!). A girl would be a new challenge, a different type of experience and I think you would enjoy it immensley. All of that to say, it's one or the other but either will be great!


After having three boys myself, I can't imagine raising a girl. But you know, you do what you have to do, and no matter who she/he is, that little person will bring you amazing joy. And be a total PITA, because that's a kid's job. ;-)


Beautiful and brilliant post. As we all know, boy or girl is all good, just as long as it is a healthy BABY! But you know, I so want you to have that princess. Although they are terrifying. I have one. I also have a boy too. I am the divorced mom who would love to find a new husband and I desparately want more babies. And either gender would be very welcome (and I have great names for either:), but... if I had a choice, it would be boy, they are easier, they love their mommas unconditionally and they will never try to emulate Paris Hilton or Brittany Spears. My daughter, who I adore and worship and fear all at the same time, tells me that I am pretty, but not as pretty as her. My son tells me I am beautiful...

Karate Mom

What a beautiful post!

wyoming daughter

well i have to say... reading these post are one of my favorite things to do.
But... i will admit it makes me somewhat sad too. i can't wait to see you and everyone else. when i come for thanksgiving i want to hear everything.

love you,

p.s the nursery color.... green!

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