the house with nobody in it

My cousin, Dave, mentioned something on Facebook this weekend about looking up childhood homes using Google Street View and seeing them as they are today. I had never thought about doing this before, but I was all over it. The first thing I realized was that there were about five different homes I could look up, but the one I wanted to see first wasn’t even technically my home: it was my Grandma Ruth’s house. Of course, it wasn’t always just my Grandma Ruth’s house. It was also the house where my dad and two uncles grew up with Grandma and my Grandpa Glenn, who suddenly passed away when both he and I were relatively very young.

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tulle skirts and painted toenails

Jeff and I decided with both Ian and Elena that we did not want to find out their sex before they were born. While there were different reasons we chose this path for ourselves, one of my personal reasons was that I didn’t care to have all the questions, comments and stereotypes that would come along with it:

Oh, you’re having a girl! How exciting…you’ll have one of each! And now you get to buy all those cute clothes! (or insert female stereotype of your choice here) 

or, conversely

Oh, a boy! How exciting…boys have so much energy! (or insert male stereotype of your choice here)

That said, I admit that before Ian was born – I wondered sometimes that if it was a boy (which I highly suspected from the beginning, by the way), would I relate to him as well as I would a girl given that, well, I am indeed a “girl” myself? But this was also part of the reason why I didn’t want to know. Because I didn’t need that extra time to second guess how I’d be as the mother of a boy. And sure enough, when Ian was born at Virginia Hospital Center the afternoon of January 10, 2006, he wasn’t a boy. He wasn’t a girl. He was my firstborn child and he was the most wonderful thing I had ever seen.

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