Mama Wanted a Daughter

Papa was very happy with four boys because they could work on the farm.  Mama loved her four boys, but always wanted a daughter.

There were several miscarriages—self-induced.  Many years later Papa told us of the gruesome way Mama proceeded to force a miscarriage.  It wasn’t until 14 years later when everything went right—but again it was a boy.  She said all the outward signs showed that she was going to have a girl this time.  All the old wives tales of how she carried the baby proved wrong.

Mama said, “That is enough, and it is time to stop.”

Papa later told us, “It was time to hang up his spurs.”

Mama bewailed her lot in life.  Not only did she have to slave on the farm, but she was doomed to have finf shnir (five daughter-in-laws.)

It was only after the eyniklekh (grandchildren) came that she changed her mind.  Her shnir had six meydlekh (girls) and five yinglekh (boys).

We reminded Mama that she often said, “Wait until you get your own children you’ll see how they treat you.”

Because we had more girls than boys, Mama said, “You see, I raised you right.”

Mama always had the last word.