Now that I know I'm having another girl - I've found a whole new set of things to think about. Wondering what this little girl's personality is going to be like, how her personality will be influenced by having a big brother as her closest sibling, what it'll be like for her to have three older sisters, what will her relationship with Jessie be like. My own sister is six years younger than I am, with two brothers between us, and I've always had a more maternal relationship with her. Will Jessie fill that role with this baby? My sister obviously liked my mother best - but I was next best when it came to comfort and solace. I remember feeling like babysitters would watch my brothers and I would take care of my sister. I hope for that, for my girls (I really LOVE saying that), in a lot of ways, and in some ways, I'm wondering if that's necessarily a good thing. Is that too much responsibility for Jess? I'll have to watch that - especially because she's already planning on taking over for me with the new baby when I'm busy with Sam.
Jess is very maternal with younger kids - she watches over Sam and takes care of him in the most adorable of ways. Yesterday at the ultrasound, without saying anything to me, she hoisted Sam (he weighs all of five pounds less than she does) up so that he could see the monitor as well. Don't get me wrong - my kids can throw down with the best of them - but there's a level of love and care and attention to each other than I find enchanting - and Jess is definitely the caretaker in that relationship. I'm sure it'll be the same thing, only that much more, with her baby sister (especially because she'll be so much easier to carry around).
My sister really loved being the "baby" and it's a long standing joke in the family, that in my next life, I want to come back as Mandi, because it seems as though it'd be SO much easier to be the youngest. But the truth is that given the choice, I wouldn't trade my place in the family for anything. I do want to be aware of it - the tendency to put more pressure on Jessie because she's my oldest, and the tendency to let the little one skate out of responsibility because she's the baby. Because that's what I know, that's how I grew up, and I don't necessarily want to repeat that whole pattern completely in the next generation. I want Jess to have more freedom, less responsibility, and my little bug to still feel as though she's strong and capable and responsible as well.
She's so excited about having a little sister.
I love my Sammy Boy, and in some ways, he feels almost more precious to me now that I know he's my only son. I wonder what his life will be like, with four sisters. I worry sometimes that we (Marc and I) tend to separate out by gender too much. It's not a conscious thing, and I do believe that there are hard core differences between male and female. Sam worships his dad - just flat out worships him, and follows his lead in all things. He likes to help take out the trash, and fix things around the house, play computer games with Daddy and watch old documentaries on the History channel. With Sam being the only boy now - I want to make sure that we also give him chances to be himself, not just Daddy's Mini Me. He LIKES being Daddy's Mini Me, it's not that we push him in that direction, he just seems to naturally gravitate to whatever it is that Marc likes, in a way that Jess doesn't. It wouldn't occur to Jess to go sit outside and watch while Daddy hits the punching bag - and I want to make sure we don't get to the point where it doesn't occur to us to invite her outside because we assume that she doesn't like doing that kind of thing. Does that make sense?
I'm still absolutely thrilled about having another daughter. My family is girl centered in a lot of ways, very matriach oriented - and there's something glorious for me in the thought of having daughters. I think I'd be equally thrilled with the thought of another boy, just in a different way. Two boys - my boys, I'm kind of sad that it didn't turn out that way. But mostly, I'm just thrilled. Finding out the gender has really made me feel so much more connected to the baby, so much more excited about this pregnancy.