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Sonny boys are precious too !!
As a mother of 2 sons and no daughter, I become an object of envy for some and also an object of commiseration for others. Right from the time that my second son was born, I have had well-meaning, considerate well-wishers offering me their congratulations, ending with an 'ek beti hoti to family complete ho jaati' kind of sympathetic balm. It made sense because I was personally looking forward to having a little replica of myself and reliving my childhood through her. My disappointment lasted for exactly 5 minutes because no sooner than i saw my second born; a cute, angelic baby that my maternal instincts rushed to the fore and the sex of the baby became irrelevant, as it usually does for any mother.
Born into a family of 3 sisters and a broadminded, loving atmosphere where daughters were bestowed with immense love and priveleges, I never grew up with any hangups people usually have about sons being preferred over daughters for some archaic and parochial reasoning. Accepting the sex of my children as a non-issue I adopted to the role of motherhood instinctively. Bringing up 2 boys has been a roller coaster ride with their 6 year age gap becoming a boon as well a bane. The elder one bullies, the one younger nags, both accusing me of favouritism, a charge i can't defend in all sincerity. I try my best to be neutral but depending upon the situation, i am forced to take sides, the little one getting a lot of leverage due to his age. There are times when I become Mother Fury, launching a full-on tirade for the ruckus they create so effortlessly. Quite surprisingly, they get amused when they see me all agitated at their shenanigans because as per them they are only 'playing', so what if it entails bringing the entire house down. Honestly speaking i have my hands full as a full time mum and no matter how exasperating things get, I don't wish it to be any other way. What does bother me is the unsolicited advice doled out to me right from the day I became a mum a second time. A well enlightened elderly female relative jibed that 'budhape mein dukh dard baatnein wala koi nahin rahega'...presuming that sons are not as loving as daughters. Her words sent a chill down my spine then. I am well aware of the saying that 'a son is a son till he gets a wife while a daughter remains a daughter whole her life'. The advent of interactive social media has launched a full throttle pitch for daughters being special and superior ! Hashtags of 'proud to have a daughter' and sharing of loving poems about daughters being precious are ruling the chart. It seems to reflect a positive change in society's mindset considering that India has the highest no. of female infanticide. There are still parents with regressive thinking who treat daughters as a burden or a load. This pathetic viewpoint isn't prominent just in rural areas or uneducated class as I've seen multiple abortions being conducted by women from affluent business families in the hopes of giving birth to a son, a scion, a 'waaris'.
However, I must confess to feeling a tad left out and 'outcast' from the wonderful parenting fraternity having a daughter in their family. I try hard to come across poems/ odes to sons but have yet to see one. I dutifully like and appreciate 'beti-bachao' kind of messages while secretly pining for some on boys too. It's as if having 2 sons is in a way, a pervert superior position which has to be downgraded to give justice to the daughters of the country. Well my sense and sensibility and my motherly instinct wants to rejoice my children be it sons or daughters.
I hope and pray for the times when a child is celebrated as an individual, precious offspring and no stigma or label is attached to his/her sex. That would be true liberation for mankind and its weird, wicked ways !