Sunday, July 29, 2012

It's a girl!

When I was pregnant with Finn and nosy strangers would ask what I was having, almost every person would respond the same way when I told them I was having another boy.

"Are you going to try for your girl?"

Isn't that strange? It's like, okay random person at the grocery store, just hold on a darn minute. I haven't even met this baby yet. Do I really look like I'm ready to move on to the next one?

Besides, it always struck me as kind of rude. I mean, I'm standing there with my one son, pregnant with my other son, and madly in love with both of them. What about this situation would make you think I'm the kind of mama who's dying for a girl?

But instead I'd smile politely and say, "We'll see..."

Because even though I sighed a huge sigh of relief each time I found out I was having a boy, I would be lying if I said a teeny tiny part of me didn't kind of wish for a girl. Even though I have convinced myself that girls are high drama and come with way too much pink stuff and would easily drive me insane with that high pitched shriek of theirs. Even though boys grow up to adore their mothers and girls grow up to despise them (at least temporarily...). Yes, even with all that, I sometimes can't help but kinda wish I had a girl.

But not because I'm anything less than a zillion percent satisfied with my boys. Really. I LOVE having sons. Even still, there were many moments during my pregnancy with Finn that girl envy hit hard (I swear, that's not nearly as bad as it probably sounds...) I wasn't wishing for a baby girl, I was wishing for some baby girl stuff. You know, like nesting. Because when it comes to the stuff, there's just no contest. Girl babies have it in the (adorable, ruffly...) bag.

And since we were using pretty much all the same stuff for Finn that we had used for Liam, my nesting instincts were going completely unsatisfied. The Pottery Barn Kids catalog would show up in the mail and I'd find myself drooling over the flowers and bows and butterflies. I'd go to Target stock up on nipple cream and end up looking at every single pair of baby girl tights and leg warmers and ruffled socks and stripey leggings. And as much time as I spent sifting through boy names, I probably spent just as much time admiring the list for little girls.

I almost started to wonder if all those strangers were onto something. Maybe I should try for a girl...

But then one fateful day I wandered into the scrap booking aisle at the craft store and came face to face with all the cute, pretty, pink, girly stuff and suddenly it hit me:

I don't have to have a girl. I can make a girl. Out of paper!

And so I began illustrating Just Right Julia, a book child development expert Theresa M. Sull wrote years and years ago, inspired by her youngest daughter (her oldest daughter is one of my closest friends). She had sent me the manuscript (along with several others) to see if I might be interested in illustrating, but it wasn't until that day in the craft store that I finally decided I was.

I got started immediately and had the bulk of the story figured out in the first few weeks. But then I got too pregnant to sit and work comfortably so I put the project aside thinking I'd pick it up again as soon as Finn was born and home and on a predictable nap schedule. Which took...a while (and seems completely hilarious to me now that I've met him).

By then we were eating dinner as a family every night so I could no longer leave my mess work all over the kitchen table for weeks on end. So the project took a backseat. For a really long time. Until one day out of the blue Liam said to me very seriously, "Mama, you need to finish Julia. It's time." (I'm very lucky to have a son like him.)

So I did. I did! And even though it took TWO YEARS from start to finish, I am very happy with the final product. The author loves it, my children love it, I love it. I really hope you will love it too!

Just Right Julia is available on Amazon and RIGHT HERE! (If you order from me I will ship it for free and sign it for you if you like...)

1 comment:

timshel said...