Last week my son was home sick for two days. The week before that, my daughter was home for three days. There were some stuffy noses and not-so-great nights of sleep, but in both cases, I felt like saying, “Buck up!” “Keep going!” “Be a little man/woman!” I wasn’t feeling well either – I had the sniffles and a little cough. I thought I might be feverish too. But I chose to keep going in spite of my plugged-up ears.
Having them home so much felt like it was summer break already, and there are two things I do not like about summer break. One, those women that post all over Facebook how excited they are about having their kids home for months on end. “I’m so excited to have my wonderful, non-fighting, able to entertain themselves all day every day kids out for the summer break!” #ireallyhavemykidssignedupforcampfrom7amuntil4pmeveryday
The second thing I do not like about summer is that my sanity is compromised, often to its breaking point. Maybe those women who write on Facebook have kids that get along, but mine fight constantly. My son is a verbal warrior who talks like a 16 year old instead of a nine year old and my daughter is a spit-fire seven year old who isn’t gonna take that shit. And by not taking it I mean, she screams at the top of her lungs and starts swinging punches at her older, stronger brother. He screams and runs, realizes he’s screaming and running, runs back, throws a jab and runs away again. Everyone ends up crying.
My one consolation on the kids being sick so much over the last two weeks was that they were not home at the same time. So it was pretty quiet. But still, I was torn between having them get up and go on feeling a little crappy or allowing each the down time they asked for. Like I said, I wasn’t feeling great either, and I was still going. Why shouldn’t they?
I started asking myself, Am I raising the next generation of slackers or am I raising the next Bill Gates or Oprah? Would Oprah stay home if she had a cold? I know I saw a show once where she was sucking a cough drop on air.
I compared myself to other parents, Would such and such let her child stay home today?
I gave myself the guilt trip, I’m sure such and such would not only keep hers home she would make sure they had every need before they even asked. I bet she’s happy to have her kids home from school.
In the end, I gave them both the space to heal themselves and decide that if this is what they felt they needed, then I would honor their decisions. I decided to trust myself in trusting the child.
At the same time I was going through asking myself to trust my children, I started noticing reports on TV about a transgender five year old, whose parents allowed a boy child to become a girl. They trusted the child to know what she needed.
In addition to positive comments, I saw many comments that basically said, children don’t know what they need; it’s up to parents to decide.
I guess I see that side of it – I generally do see all sides of the metaphorical coin. But I also have a transgender person in my family. He-who-was-born-a-she was most definitely born a boy in a girl’s body. I can say this with absolute certainty.
There are many, many instances I can cite to get my point across and I’m sure his mother will know plenty more, but one sticks out in my mind. He-who-was-born-a-she was taking a bath with another girl cousin at age three. During the bath, He said, “When I’m older and I get my penis, I am going to….” I don’t know what he was going to do, but that’s not the point. My cousin who is still a girl and is six month older than he-born-a-she said, “You are not going to get a penis, you are a girl.” To which the three year old he-who-was-born-a-she started crying and protesting about the penis he would have someday. He was adamant that he would have a penis.
It is my experience that transgender children are very aware of their private parts at a young age. I can attest that they know early on that they see something differently than the people around them see it.
I come from a family of women. My mom is one of five girls and those five girls had seven girls. Only two boys (mine is one of them) have been born into my immediate family. I have one aunt who is married to a woman. We are a family filled with the feminine spirit. If he-who-was-born-a -she would have been a boy saying he was going to one day get a vagina, I could understand the mishap. Vajayjay is just about all there is at family gatherings – maybe a little boy could get confused.
But, He-who-was-born-a-she wanted a penis. And there was no real reason for it. He cried so young that he wasn’t a born a boy that I saw then that there was no mistaking it, he might have been born a she, but he is a he.
So when the time arose that she came to us and said she was becoming a he, it was no shock – no shock at all. And although it was a little strange, mainly because it’s just strange to see someone born a female become a male through and through, it was also wonderful to see a beautiful, soulful person become who he was born to be.
I’ve cried so much watching the Bruce Jenner story; maybe for Bruce, but more for my own he-who-was-born-a-she. And for so many people living out a personal journey that must be so hard in a world that can be so harsh when non-conformity is involved.
As always after I drop the kids off at school (YES! Both of my kids went to school today), I was listening to Q100 morning show the radio where a caller called in about the Bruce Jenner story. He said, “Science doesn’t lie, if someone is born a certain sex then they need to stay that gender. What? Are we going to live life on feelings now? Just because someone feels like they are not the gender they were born in we all have to accept that person’s decision to just change?”
The answer, YES! Why not live life on what we feel is right for us? Is my soul based in science or feeling? Is my faith in something bigger than my existence scientific? Is Love science?
Today, I live by my gut feelings, I honor my soul and I give thanks to others that honor their soul, because it is in our souls where we are one.