“Oh, you have two kids? What do you have?” Whenever I hear this question, I inwardly groan. I hate telling people that I have both a girl and a boy, because I know what is going to come out of their mouths next. “Aren’t you lucky? A boy and a girl! One of each; the perfect family!” And this comment, this response, really annoys me, for several reasons.
- “… the perfect family.” Really, is there any such thing as a perfect family?! We all know the answer to that one, of course not. As much as I love my kids, I mess up, every single day. As much as I love my parents, they didn’t do things perfectly. There is no such thing as a perfect family.
- “Oh a boy and a girl!” What about my friends with two girls, or the friends with all boys? What does this statement say about their families? Are they less than perfect because God gave them one sex? I can guarantee that their response would be a heartfelt, adamant NO; of course their family is perfect for them. And as the oldest daughter in a family of four girls, I take even more exception to this statement. Blech!
- “One of each...” I don’t even know where to begin with this part of the above statement. I have a friend (who I hope doesn’t hate me for posting about her father-in-law) whose father-in-law firmly believes that you should only have as many children as to replace yourself and your spouse. He was absolutely appalled to hear that my friend desires four children. So apparently, according to society’s standards, the perfect family consists of two parents and two children.
The above question is usually accompanied with this one. “So, do you and your husband plan to have any more children?” And they wait with bated breath while an internal debate rages inside my head about whether I want to answer that question truthfully or not. Do I want to tell them, no, of course not, our family is already “perfect”? Or do I want to tell them the truth, we want one more (two more, if I had my way) and watch their face contort into a look of disbelief, because seriously, how could we possible want one more child?!
I know that I seem to have lost my marbles, or at the very least, turning something small into a big thing. But these questions and the forthcoming responses really burn me up. I just don’t understand how anyone can put such little value on life. God has blessed us with two healthy children, who just happen to be one male and one female. The gender never mattered to us, just the health of these babies. And in one sentence, that person has cheapened the families of those with one gender, including my sisters and me.
And if God so chooses to bless our family with another child, a very much wanted third child, we will get on our knees and thank Him. Yes, we may add to the growing population but children are such beautiful gifts, gifts that I do not take for granted. And at the heart of it, I don’t answer to man, I answer to my God. I guess now I need to start working on my reactions to these questions; if only people thought before they spoke!
[Disclaimer: I don't mean the casual conversations that happen in the stores. Or the casual comment between friends. I mean the people who actually believe that one boy and one girl is the perfect family. I mean the people who are absolutely disgusted that I would dare have a third child. Yes, there are well-meaning people in the world who mean nothing by those statements. But then there others who truly feel as though they are right and want to impose their ideas on me. Those are the ones that drive me crazy.]