I have four kids – three boys and a girl. They are gorgeous. I’m not just saying that because I’m their mom, honestly. They are really just beautiful.
And they all sort of look the same, you know, they “favor” each other, as my southern mother-in-law would say. You’d think since they all “had the same face” as a neighbor kid once described them, that onlookers would all be on the same side of the gender call. So why no one could ever get their gender right when they were toddlers remains a mystery to me.
It started with my oldest, Alex. Good lord, huge blue eyes, blonde loose curls, a smile (even the toothless one) that would melt you. With that description, I know you’re thinking, well, he kinda sounds like a girl. Fine. I’ll give you that. But when he’s covered from head to toe in fire trucks and John Deere tractors and the little old lady in the grocery store still says, “She’s so pretty!” I have to wonder. About her.
Then came Andrew. Green eyes, soft brown curls, and dimples. In both cheeks. “Oh, my word, she’s so pretty!” Yeah, and she’s all about dressing up like a COWBOY, too. Check out her six-shooter, lady. Good grief.
So, what happened to Madeline? Well, that little cue-ball had huge green eyes and an infectious giggle, but, alas, no hair. Only a smattering of reddish-blonde fuzz until she was 2 1/2.
“Look at him, he’s so cute!”
Cute in a he-likes-to-wear-frilly-white-tights-with-his-fluffy-pink-dress-and-bow-velcroed-to-his-head sort of way. I kid you not. She called my living doll a “boy.”
I wish I could say the gender confusion stopped there. It didn’t.
Asher, my youngest, has the most beautifully thick curly hair and milk-chocolate brown eyes framed in long, lush eyelashes. He’s ten years old.
Today, yes, TODAY, while sitting on the front porch counting trucks, a woman spreading the word of God asked me what “her” name was. Asher was wearing grey sweat pants, a grey Abercombie polo, and Diego tennis shoes.
I thought of all sorts of smart-assy things to say: “We call him ‘Bubby.’ It’s short for Beelzebub.” “We don’t believe in names. We’ve given ‘it’ a number instead.”
But “Sharon” was a woman of God and I didn’t want an even faster ticket to Hell, so I just smiled and said, “Ashley.”
Score one for God.