A Moment-in-Time Tale: September 2005


Five sisters, five daughters: Gemma-Rose (1), Sophie (4), Charlotte (8), Imogen (11), Felicity (18)

I grew up in a family of girls and my sisters have always been my best friends. Before ever I had children, I hoped for a daughter, just one daughter, someone to share the joys of being a woman.

My grandmother had four boys, all mischievous. They were a terror to their neighbourhood. I am sure they drove their mother to distraction. My grandmother always hoped for a daughter but she had to wait until my father married my mother. My mother was the perfect daughter-in-law and my grandmother must have loved her dearly for her kindness, care and attention.

Andy's mother, my mother-in-law, had three sons. She also wanted a daughter but instead she had a houseful of men. The last time I spoke in person to her, (she died a few years ago) she told me that I was the daughter she never had. Such a special moment. It reminds me to share what is in my heart and create joy.

When I was pregnant with our first child, even though I longed for a girl, I thought it was very possible I would never have one. It wasn't that I didn't want a son. It was just, growing up in a family of girls, I was unfamiliar with boys. I had yet to discover their delights.

We never found out the sex of our baby during pregnancy but a few weeks before our baby was born, I could resist no longer. I bought a few balls of pastel pink wool and started knitting. And continued hoping.

Felicity was born and I was delighted with my daughter. Just one daughter would have satisfied me but I have been blessed with five.

But we also have three sons and I am so glad we do, for I have discovered that sons are just as special. I look at my two grown up sons who tower high above me and I am in awe. How did I produce such fine young men? I have found out that sons are different from daughters. A son's love is different. It is more protective. My sons like to look after me. It is less complicated, more straightforward.

Yes, I am glad to have both sons and daughters.

We often express a preference for one sex or the other: what do you hope the baby will be?" One of our sons died. It wouldn't have mattered at all whether Thomas had been a boy or a girl. I couldn't have said, "I'd have grieved more if he'd been a girl." That would have been impossible. Our children are our children, regardless of sex. To have a child is such a miracle, how can we pick and choose between sexes?

So I look at this photo and I thank God for my five daughters. It isn't the fact that they are girls and not boys which makes this moment-in-time special. It's the fact that although they are the same sex, they are also individuals. Each time God sent us a daughter He gave us a new variation.  All our girls have different talents, different personalities, different appearances but at the same time they are all the same, all sisters, all my daughters.

I look at this photo and remember Gemma-Rose's blonde sprout of hair and the threadbare carpet which my boys loved because "It is perfect for racing cars over, Mum!" I remember Imogen didn't need glasses when she was eleven. I see my St Joseph's sofa with the precious striped blanket crocheted by my grandmother. I see Thomas' cross stitch sitting side by side with our Lady of Guadalupe. I see five sisters and five daughters.
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  1. I love girls too. My 3 boys are probably the terror of our neighborhood! I love them all though.

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  2. I hope you don't mind me copying and pasting your comment, Leslie as you had trouble posting it. it is a beautiful comment and I'd like to keep it. God bless you.

    From Leslie:

    What a beautiful picture and reflection! I only have 2 boys and 1 daughter (for now) and it amazes me already the differences in blessings and challenges. It brought tears in my eyes to imagine my boys as grown men. Lord, please let me treasure the moments so they don't fly away too quickly!

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  3. My boys used to be real terrors too, Kim. They were wild! But they matured and turned into civilised young men, much to my relief!

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