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I was my mother’s third child and her third son. I never did understand why parents care so much about the gender of their newborns, but my mother sure did and the entire hospital wing knew it.
As the story was told to me, she literally threw a tantrum, throwing things and crying that she had wanted a girl. The nurses even put a pink bracelet on me in an attempt to calm her down.
As she laid in bed fuming about “another boy,” they brought in the newborn of her roommate, a woman who was quiet and reserved and taking life as it came.
And as it sometimes does, life came in a terrible form. The woman’s baby was born without any fingers. My mother felt horrible and rightfully so. While she was carrying on over not having a daughter, this woman had been waiting to see her child, a child she already knew was deformed for life.
It put things in perspective and my mother immediately demanded to see me. Suddenly, my gender wasn’t an issue, but my mother could not be consoled until she counted my fingers.
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