Throughout pregnancy, I vowed that my child would not come home from the hospital in a gender-neutral outfit. I don't know why, but it was one menial detail that was very important to me. A few weeks before Mason was born, Brad and I went shopping for two homecoming outfits: one for a girl and another for a boy. Because our ultrasounds had predicted a big baby, we deliberated the size to buy. All of the newborn size outfits we found were clearly marked for babies weighing 5-8 pounds. The next size up, 0-3 months, was suggested for babies weighing 8-12 pounds. Perfect, we thought! This size should fit our anticipated 9-10 pound baby well. Even though the 0-3 months outfits looked large to us, we bought them anyway. And because we were already wasting money on one outfit that wouldn't be worn, which turned out to be the little girl's dress, we didn't want to waste more money by buying gender-specific outfits in multiple sizes.
We clipped the tags, washed both outfits, and stuck them in the suitcase. But then I started to have doubts. What if the ultrasounds were wrong? (They weren't.) What if the baby came early and therefore wasn't as big as we expected? (That didn't happen.) In a last-minute moment of panic, I washed a tiny, gender-neutral, newborn-size sleeper that I had received as a shower gift and stuck it in the suitcase, just in case.
When I pulled out our little boy outfit to dress Mason on the day we came home from the hospital, I realized that Brad and I had made our first parenting mistake.
The pants alone could have covered Mason's entire body. I sighed and pulled out the little gender-neutral ducky outfit, which fit him perfectly. It wasn't what I had dreamed of and it wasn't an outfit I had even chosen myself, but he still looked cute, and most importantly, he was here, healthy, and going home with us. At least we didn't have to take him home in only a diaper!
Mason's original homecoming outfit is now hanging in his closet, waiting for the day when, Lord willing, he's big enough to wear it, which will certainly occur long before I'm ready.