Life As Me

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E is in fifth grade, so in our school district, that means that next year she will go to middle school. A kid like E can’t just go off to a new school without some prep. So I met with her current principal and school counselor to start the conversation about what E needs in her new school. Let me say a few words about the administration at E’s school. The principal is a woman who is everything you want a principal to be. She is a leader, a mother, a person of compassion and good sense. When she talks […]

A 10 STEP GUIDE TO SURVIVING YOUR CHILD TELLING YOU THEY ARE A BOY (or a GIRL – whatever you have been thinking all along that they aren’t.)

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1. It is bone crushingly hard, at first. When your child first tells you, your head will spin, your heart will ache and you will feel overwhelmed. You will realize that you have absolutely no idea what to do. You will feel a tsunami of responsibility. You will be scared out of your mind for them.  Know you are not alone in this and that it will ease. 2. There may or may not be a lot of crying on your part. There was for me. I did it in the shower and put on a brave face for my […]

I Really Wanted To Go

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I really wanted to go. As much as she didn’t want to go, I did. There is something very special about this group. It’s hard for me to find the words to describe what it’s like to sit among them. We are all at different points in our stories. Some have been in the group for years and are real friends now, often going out for dinner afterwards. Their children are in a different place than E as well, many on hormone blockers, some on cross hormones. They share their experiences with their doctors, their insurance companies, their school administrators. […]

She Really Didn’t Want To Go

She didn’t want to go. I mean, she really didn’t want to go. Our next support group was approaching and E was strongly expressing that she DIDN’T WANT TO GO. There were lots of reasons, some real (I don’t feel good) and some not real (it’s stupid.) Some superficial (it’s FRIDAY NIGHT and I want to see my friends) some profound (I don’t want to talk about myself.) The way she was upset was that scary way she gets. It falls into the category of big upset I don’t want to talk about myself. I know you don’t; it’s ok. […]

Fear

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I had a visit with some old friends yesterday. Two amazing women who I haven’t seen in many years. It was so great to see them and catch up on their lives. I was also sharing mine, telling them about E. At one point in our conversation, I said that E knows her options – the many ways to be a girl, the openness of who she can love as a girl or a boy, the possibility of her being a boy. One of the women, who is gay, said that she thought that was great. As a child, she felt […]

Support

I’ve never been a very good group-joiner. I’m much more of a one on one type. But going through this process with E, the idea of a support group is something that I’ve thought about. In most areas of my life, I have been able to find people who get it (whatever “it” is) because they have lived it too. This is a different arena. Not too many people have lived this one. Over the summer, I met a wonderful woman whose child was a young adult who had transitioned. I absolutely loved talking to her. I could see in […]

Summer Break

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I took a break. I didn’t plan to, but as the summer wore on I found myself avoiding my blog. Sometimes I felt guilty – if I want to reach more people, I should be writing more. I know that to be true. But I just wanted some time to not think about things. To just be. When I left off on the very first day of July, I was wondering about the landmines of E’s life. Mostly our summer was landmine-free. She was with me most of the time, at our town pool, enjoying the majesty of the mountains […]

The Small Stuff That is Actually Big Stuff

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I love summer.   I love having the kids around more. I love that there is (almost) no homework. I love the escape from the daily grind of school and carpooling and sports. I love being outside. This year, I decided not to book too many camps for E. She is turning 10 soon and those double digits loom large. I want to keep her near me this summer, while I can. Her 15 year old brother is working, working out, and out and about much of the time – as he should be – so I know what’s coming. This […]

The Middle Place

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When E first started talking to me about stretching the boundaries of her gender, I spent a lot of time wondering. I wondered if she would be a gay woman. (Oh, please please please, make it be that she is “just” gay.) I wondered if she would live her life as a male. I wondered if she would be one of those stunning women who wear their hair short and slicked. They wear ties all the time and usually have a knowing smile and very bright eyes. I was comfortable with gender boxes, as most of us are, and I […]

The Concert

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When I sent the email to E’s Music Teacher, I copied E’s principal.  She has been a fabulous support of E and once again, she did not disappoint.  She responded right away, saying that she is E’s student as well.  It took the Music Teacher a little longer to respond.  I’m sure she was processing it, gathering her thoughts and also trying to manage my copying her boss. But soon enough her response came.  She put the issue at hand to bed right away – she would let E do what the boys are doing.   She also decided to offer […]