Men are different from women. Try contesting that and you’ll end up looking very foolish. Why? Because each day a myriad of little happenings affirm this fact over and over again. Just last week we experienced one such happening in our family.
Our daughter-in-law’s sister gave birth to her first child. Having happened in Germany, we were reliant on our son and daughter -in-law for the news. Jane (my wife) asked me to send a mail to John (our son) asking him whether the baby had been born.
Back came the reply: “The baby was born this morning.” That was it. That was the reply, simple, incisive, unadorned, proudly male. I communicated that to Jane. She said, “So?” I said, “What?” She said, “Boy or girl? “Dunno,” I said. “How much did the baby weigh? “ – “John didn’t say,” – “Didn’t you ask?” – “No, why?” – “What’s the baby’s name?” – “I really don’t know,” – “Well, why didn’t you ask him?” – by now I was pricked by feelings of guilt, or stupidity; I didn’t know which. “Please send John another mail and ask him about all of that.”
I duly did, setting out very clearly all the questions posed. An hour later the reply came. “Dad, it’s a boy.” That was it – that was the reply. My heart sank, and at this stage I”ll leave it up to your imagination to work out what happened next.
You see, it’s true, men and women are different and I’m not so sure that anything will ever change that. One thing though, and I thought long and hard about this, the feelings I had were of guilt, and rightly so. I could have been far more engaging and sensitive to the whole issue.