I’ve never found out the gender of the baby with any of our pregnancies. Not that there is anything wrong with it, in fact I am usually very tempted to find out right about the time that I’m far along that would be possible to see. But, I like the surprise at the end, so I stick it out.
So, when people ask “Do you know if it’s a boy or girl?” I have to say no. The next question is usually “Do you want a boy or a girl?” And my answer is “I don’t really care”. I really don’t. Oh yes, it would be fun to get a boy eventually, but I love my baby girls, and it is so fun to see the girl gang grow! So I would be completely happy with another girl, or a boy.
Then comes the phrase that has started to bother me.
“Oh yes, it doesn’t really matter as long as its healthy”
This has always kind of bugged me. At first I couldn’t put my finger on it. I mean, yes, I want and desire my children to be born healthy without complications. Of course!
But I would welcome and love any child that God sends me.
Don’t get me wrong, I pray for the health and safety of all my children. I would cry and pray some more if I had a baby born with difficulties. Every mother desires to shield her babies from the trials and difficulties of life. (Oh that I could protect my children from them all!)
And I realize that most of the people that say “as long as its healthy” do not mean that they would reject a baby that wasn’t. But in a culture that places a high value on “normal” and routinely discards those that aren’t, should we be more careful about how we fight back against that mindset?
Isn’t a baby born with Down Syndrome just as precious and just as much a gift as a baby born without it? And what constitutes “healthy”? What if my baby needs extra help to learn how to walk? What if my baby cannot hear well and has trouble learning how to speak correctly? What if my baby grows into a teen that struggles with depression? Do those things mean that my baby isn’t “healthy”?
Does “as long as its healthy” mean that if my child isn’t as pretty or as smart or as strong as my neighbors I got jipped? What about my children, shouldn’t they have a say in how healthy or gifted their parents are? If my children had their pick of anyone to be their parents would they pick me? I am certainly not the most beautiful, talented, or most Godly mom they could pick.
I know that my children probably won’t win an Oscar a Pulitzer Prize and discover the cure for cancer. And even if they do some of those things, it certainly won’t be one child that does it all! Every child has their own difficulties and obstacles, and their own strengths and talents.
If I have a child that has obstacles and strengths that aren’t the everyday average is God still blessing me? How many other times in life do we say to God I’ll take that blessing “as long as”? I’ll “let” you give me grace “on one condition”?
Its enough to make me want to reply to the next person that says “as long as its healthy”, “and even if it isn’t”.