Once again inspired to pair my passion to pen with technology, I endeavor to electronically etch my experience, strength and hope in cyberspace. What sparked this blaze for blogging? That would be none other than my daughter-in-law, Janiece. A young woman in her early twenties whose wisdom never ceases to amaze me, she recently began to capture her story in heartfelt fragments found at Faithfully Sassy, and my fingers have fancied frolicking on the keyboard ever since.
When my first husband and I discovered we were expecting our first child, we were whimsically warned to anticipate a boy, as no females had been born into the Monroe clan for centuries. I looked around at these people I dearly loved, noted the presence of all the male-born Monroes alongside the females restricted to those who, like me, had married into the family, and wondered what the odds really were. But, gender mattered not. In fact, I opted not to know the gender during routine ultrasounds. After all, I like surprises—at least the pleasant ones. As long as the little one inside of me, whom I affectionately dubbed “the parasite,” was healthy, I was happy. And he was. I was blessed with a baby boy we named Bobby, who never seemed to stop bouncing. The tradition of male Monroeism continued to ring true five years later, when God gave me Ethan, and again six years after that, when Heaven sent Harry.
Because I was happy with boys, and I knew what to do with boys, I decided I was meant to the be the mother of boys. Occasionally, I felt a little pang for long locks to tame with bows and braids. Mostly, however, I was content to play with Hot Wheels and Legos, read adventure and mythological series from modern marvels such as Rick Riordan to legends like J.R.R. Tolkien, cheer on my soccer studs at games near and far, teach the importance of winning with humility and losing with grace, and oversee apologies in the aftermath of altercations, which seemed so much simpler with boys. In fact, I found myself mumbling miniature prayers of gratitude punctuated by sighs of relief to have escaped the drama of mean girls and the “princess phenomenon,” which eluded my youth despite toe shoes and tutus. It never occurred to me that, had God given me a girl, she might have been more like me; which is ironic, given how much my eldest son and I have in common.
Speaking of my eldest, one day Bobby brought home a girl named Janiece. Somewhere in between impromptu visits, casual cookouts, holiday festivities, the birth of yet another bouncing baby boy (my first grandson, Oliver, who continues the long lineage of Monroe men), and the most beautiful wedding I’ve ever seen (bias acknowledged with no apologies), it came to me. An epiphany. If God had given me a girl, I would have wanted her to be just like Janiece—a sagacious and spiritual but sassy lass who is comfortable donning a dress or digging in dirt. A sweet soul with a sense of humor who strives for humility, shimmers with possibility, and is not afraid to be bossy, but does so with finesse.
Lo and behold, God finally gave me a girl. His perfect timing awes me. Sometimes it perplexes me. Sometimes it frustrates the heck out of me. But always, it is what’s best for me.