A few short days before his birthday, my most favorite human on earth took a bus into town and got his prescription filled for testosterone. At that same time I was sitting on a peaceful little beach by a lake across the country watching three of my children splashing and laughing and playing in the sunshine. While I sat there a group of teens showed up to enjoy the refreshing lake. Two of them were a lesbian couple. I marveled in the beauty of seeing two young people so entwined in their love and freely showing it playfully and with a few lingering hugs and kisses right there in public in a small southern town where it is hard as hell to do anything out of the accepted norm without risking being shunned or shamed. I was grateful. I sat there watching their young love blossom and grew thankful for the fact we live in a world where men like my dear soul-brother CAN get a prescription written to help them be who they truly are on the inside. It’s truly a beautiful thing.
I went home and after my 4 year old son showered off the beach sand he put on his favorite dress. The one he calls his “party dress”. Its a long sleeved velvet leopard- print thing. He went running around outside bursting with energy, dress fluttering behind him as his bare feet pounded the grass and dirt outside. I was busy cooking dinner but I paused to watch him and savor how FREE he looked.
Someday, if he chooses to continue to favor dresses and more “feminine” things, he will inevitably come face to face with the same pain that my dear soul brother and those 2 young ladies at the lake have all experienced. The ignorance of those who not only do not understand, but whom refuse to even TRY to understand.
People tend to praise my parenting and tell me what a great mom I am just because I let my son wear what makes him happy. No. That is nothing extraordinary. That just makes me a not-shitty mom. I see what makes my child happy and that it brings him no harm so I encourage him to seek happiness and peace. Any decent parent would do so. Do I worry someday that these choices might bring him hurt or even risk him harm? Of course. The thought terrifies me. But lets be real, you can try to jump through every hoop and mold yourself to fit societies expectations like a perfect little robot and you are STILL going to be teased or mocked or misunderstood. So why bother? Why waste time? Just be you And for fucks sake if your child wants to do something that brings them joy, let them. As long as they are safe and healthy and happy. Let them. Maybe its a phase they outgrow, maybe not. But please show them that you support them and love them . We all need more of that.
People also like to tell me what a wonderful friend I am for being supportive of my brother. As if there is some other way to be a friend. Look, if you tell me you plan on shaving your head or adopting eleven Siamese cats or moving to Japan or starting a new religion that worships dandilions …I don’t really give a crap as long as you are happy and safe. What doe sit matter to me if the sister I had for years messaged me one day to tell me he was now my brother? A couple of months where once in a while I slipped and said “she” , and a bit of sadness for a moment at the loss of my sister. But how long can I truly grieve that loss when I get a really awesome brother instead??? And truly, he is still the very same soul I fell madly in love with years ago. Just the outside packaging has changed. Now he is happier. Safer. Free-er. He is out of an abusive marriage. He has friends who know and support and love him. He has a solid team of doctors. And today he took a huge step towards becoming who he always HAS been. Who he was born as, who he has always been in his heart.
I am not brave just because I love these people. My son who pays no mind to kids teasing him and happily dons his dresses anyway, HE is brave. And wonderful. I am not brave because I support my bestie. Pfft. You know who IS brave? A single father of 3 who got on a bus today and fought through all the stress that that comes with when you have disabilities and anxiety and finally found a pharmacy that carries the one thing he needs to get this ball rolling so he can stop feeling halfway dishonest with his own spirit. THAT is courage. To be YOU in a world that demands carbon copies is such an amazingly brave thing to do.
Ask me who my hero is. I will tell you immediately. It is a 4 year old boy asleep in my bed right now and a man across the country who is currently tucking his 3 sons into bed, both whom I love with a raw fierceness that moves me to tears.
Change is good. Sometimes it is within us. A new mindset. A new acceptance. Sometimes it IS us. A script filled. A cup overflowing with gratitude. Sometimes all that matters is that without change, without the ebb and flow of life day by day by day, nothing can get better. Nothing can grow without evolving first. Nothing can become without first being born. Nothing can BE without a change taking place.
I love you N. With all of my heart. I am so proud of you. ❤