I guess I never knew how much my amazing mother and our incredibly tight relationship affected me! Almost all the women in my life of my generation also have a similar relationship with their mothers, too. I guess my girlfriends and I got a bit lucky by having such incredible women as mothers.
Of course I'll try to be the same kind of incredibly supportive, loving, available mother that mine is, to my sons as they grow into adults. I've been working on that for a decade and I am thrilled with the results thusfar. I don't want to sound like I don't treasure my boys, of course they are the world to me, my number one priority. I just think the female experience of coming into womanhood and then someday coming into motherhood is magical and special. I am operating under the baseline assumption that I'll be quite close (in different ways) to ALL of my children, regardless of gender, but since I've never seen any examples in my own life experience of adult men being emotionally intimate with their mothers, I have been preparing myself that no matter how close we are throughout childhood, when my kids turn into men it's a possibility that they won't be gushing their deepest thoughts to me anymore. I'd love it if they did, but I'm just trying to prepare myself to not be quite as devastated if that doesn't happen. Of course I assume I'll still have a great relationship with my adult sons (I never indicated that I assumed the relationship would all but disintegrate), even if long phone calls and days spent one-on-one isn't a part of it.
We are influenced by examples we see with our own eyes. Since my own experience demonstrates how amazing a mother/adult-daughter bond can be, I'm still very much hoping one of my children gets pregnant and gives birth someday, and I'll get to be the truly connected grandma (as opposed to the birthing woman's mother-in-law) in the inside circle at that special time.
Obviously I could end up very close with any daughters-in-law but that seems far more difficult to count on or even influence if the personality click just isn't there. I'll just have to cross my fingers and hope that I am allowed to play a role of some sort in the scenario, when my sons have kids of their own (in the early months and years, I mean--obviously once the kid is school aged the roles of grandmas begin to equalize. I'm sure there are also plenty of exceptions to this stereotype I have of women feeling comfortable letting their own mothers support them during birth, babyhood, etc more so than they feel comfy having their mother in law around a lot, but I don't think the assumption is a wildly off base one).
I never dressed my sons in obviously masculine clothes, only gender neutral, and their toys were always creative-based items, or games that favor neither gender.....no toy guns and not even any trucks that I can think of or remember. Lots of legos, which I would give to either child. I'm not the type to shove a gender role down a baby or child's throat, far from it. Actually come to think of it my sons have pink as a major color in their wallpaper or curtains at this moment, actually. They don't care. My older son plays the flute, since I do. We play duets together. I hate frilly pink frou frou girls' clothes, but baby clothes for girls tends to be more light hearted and using fun pastels like green and yellow and orange, when all the boys' stuff in stores is almost all navy, beige, army green, etc. Blah. You can find cute stuff for girls even avoiding pink and purple, but try to avoid navy and brown when buying boys' clothes. It's tough. Anyway, I don't think I am the kind of parent to consider gender any kind of an issue worth thinking about before....puberty? Then I guess certain developments need to be addressed in a gender specific way. I have this feeling that I have come across as hyper genderizing if that's a word I can make up. :) I just have always dreamed of having a daughter and being a confidante through the miracle of pregnancy and birth and the early months of her babies' lives. If I never have a daughter, I hope I can be the kind of irresistible mother-in-law that offers such amazing help and support and has such a charming personality that even my sons' wives will voluntarily gravitate towards including me in their inner circle and feel comfortable coming to me as a lifeline during the intensity of pregnancy/birth/babyhood.