April 11, 2007 Edition

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Dealing with disappointment

Gretchen Hunt

We recently went to the doctor for our second ultrasound and the long-anticipated answer to the question: "boy or girl?"

I think that since our son, Conley, was so convinced that the baby was going to be a girl, I already had that mindset, as well.

When the ultrasound technician began looking at the baby, we were not sure we were going to be able to find out the gender. She did some coaxing and cooing, encouraging the baby not to be shy, and pretty soon the legs parted.

Low and behold the words came out of her mouth, "It's a boy."

Now, first of all, let me say that from the beginning Jason and I attested that we did not care whether we had a boy or a girl, we just wanted a sibling for Conley and our priority was on healthy, not a specific sex.

Nonetheless, when she announced that it was a boy, tears filled my eyes. I was not sad that I was not getting a daughter ~ that was still not really important to me. But I was devastated for Conley who was so intent on having a baby sister.

At first, I thought we were in the clear as Conley showed little reaction to the announcement. Then, my heart broke for him as his face fell, his eyes filled with tears and he softly said, "It can't be a boy. I'm supposed to have a baby sister."

He buried his head in Jason's shoulder, and I began to worry that this might be a real issue. The ultrasound technician was quick on her feet, though, and started talking to Conley about how cool it is to have a baby brother.

We quickly joined in talking about playing baseball and riding four-wheelers and roping cows and all the great things they would be able to do together. Of course, he could have done all those things with a sister, as well, but we were looking for anything to appease him at that moment.

He thought about it for a few minutes and then announced that he needed to go buy his baby brother a race car video game. I didn't have the heart at the time to tell him that it would be several years before the baby would be ready to play video games with him.

By the next day, he was proudly announcing to everyone he saw that he was going to be having a baby brother. If only we could all deal with disappointment so easily.

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