“If I have a monument in this world it is my son.” ~Maya Angelou
When I was pregnant, I was secretly hoping for a daughter. I was
young immature enough at the time to be focused primarily on the superficial aspects of parenthood – think frilly dresses, doll houses, and hair ribbons. I wasn’t disappointed when my son was born – who could be disappointed with such a healthy, handsome, and intelligent child? But I was a little worried about whether I’d know what to do with a boy child, having never had any experience with boys. Over the years I’ve realized that I was probably more suited to raising a boy than a girl. I’m not terribly interested in a lot of girly stuff – I’ve never cared for baby dolls, I’m not good at fixing hair in fancy styles, and I don’t appreciate diva-esqe behavior. I’m perfectly happy playing with Matchbox cars, or Brio train sets. Luckily, my son was interested in books and drawing and creative pursuits – had he been the kind to bring home frogs and snakes, my opinion might be quite different!
When we learned we were going to be grandparents, there might have been a tiny whispering voice once again cheering for pink over blue. But today, when we found out that our little Grandbaby- to- be is a boy, I couldn’t have been happier. I enjoyed my son through every stage of his life, and I’m so excited to see what his son will be like.
My mother has felt all along that Brian and Nantana’s baby would be a boy. “Every time I think about the baby, I think of it as a little boy,” she’s said. “It would be nice for Brian to have a boy, to carry on the family name.”
It’s true – my son is really the very last one of the males in our little family, at least males who carry our surname. My father-in-law had one brother, who was childless. His sister had three boys, but they aren’t “Rowans” – not on paper, anyway. Although more and more women are choosing to keep their family name after marriage, it’s possible that without a male child, our little branch of the family name could have been eradicated completely.
So, as my husband said earlier when he heard the news, “The Rowan’s will live on!” I know my father-in-law would be happy to know that. I’ve never forgotten the comment he made when we told him we were expecting. “I never thought I’d live to see this day,” he said. Because he was in his mid-fifties when Jim was born, he probably did wonder if he would live long enough to see grandchildren. I realize now that as you get older, you start to consider what you’ll leave behind, what your legacy will be when you’re gone.
Today I feel especially blessed in terms of my legacy. As the poet Maya Angelou says, “If I have a monument in this world, it is my son.”
I couldn’t ask for a better one. And I’m sure my Grandson’s mother and father will feel the same way about him.