On March 17 this year, we found out we are having a little boy. This was great news. I wanted a boy first. In fact, I’d be thrilled with a family full of boys. Can’t say why, exactly, I just think it would be awesome. I’d be thrilled with girls, too, don’t get me wrong, but the idea of raising a bunch of boys to all be best friends with each other sounds like so much fun.
As we get closer to the impending labor, delivery and arrival of our little dude, however, one question persistently pops up: To circumcise or not?
I used to work at a boutique in our local mall that pierced ears. We had all kinds come in – little girls, teenagers (boys and girls), grandmothers, old men. But the worst were the baby girls – infants – brought in by loving parents wanting to make their little girls so pretty.
I hated piercing infants’ ears. That moment their facial expression changed from sweet and trusting to surprise and betrayal just about killed me every time. Their mothers and fathers would purposely have someone else hold the baby, or someone else get their attention where we needed it so the baby wouldn’t associate this awful experience with their parents. I was usually the one the baby was looking at as I went in with the earring gun. It was my eyes she stared into as I inflicted pain in her tender little ears.
It got to me after a while, and I stopped doing it on infants. There was absolutely no argument a mother could give to convince me that piercing an infant’s ears was OK. What if, as she got older, she realized the holes were misplaced because her ears were so tiny when it was done? What if she doesn’t want holes in her ears when she grows up? I believed (and still do) that it should be left up to the little girl when she gets older to decide when she wants to get her own ears pierced. It’s her body, let her decide. And babies don’t need earrings to be beautiful.
This is how I feel about circumcision. I know it’s not much of a comparison, ear piercing versus circumcision, but I feel the same way about them both. I don’t feel qualified to make such an important decision for my son that may affect his entire life. I think it should be left up to him.
Aaron and I have a lot of discussions about it. We try to weigh the pros and cons (that we know of) and come to some kind of decision. At this point, we have decided to forgo the surgery, and I feel good about this. I want to leave it up to our son. Whenever (if ever) he decides it’s something he wants to have done, I will fully support him and make sure he knows all the details.
I’ve read lots of articles about the pros and cons, but there is no definitive answer. Men go through life uncircumcised just fine. Men also go through life circumcised just fine. I’d rather not do it and let him decide as he gets older, than do it and remove the choice altogether. He deserves to make that choice for himself.
I know this is a hot topic, and there are supporters in each camp. But ultimately, it is our decision as parents of this new little being to do what we think is best for him. It is everyone’s decision as parents. I’m not knocking those who decide to circumcise. It’s a choice, with neither outcome the right one or wrong one. Just a different one than some others may choose. I’m just trying to put forth my reasoning here, in part to work it out myself, and to see what the rest of you think.