Hello dear. Please sit down. Or let’s take a walk if that feels better. You need some water? How about a bite to eat? It’s important to tend to your basic needs at this moment. Your child just told you something that was very surprising, or maybe a little surprising, or maybe you kinda sorta knew, and feel like you shouldn’t be shocked, but here you are.
Your child is trans. Maybe they told you face to face. Maybe it was a text. Maybe you found out through the grapevine. Maybe you found a note crumpled up in a backpack.
Your child is not who you thought they were. They are not who they were told they were.
I’m not sure that “rules” are really helpful here but you know what? Some structure …
Mommas and Poppas, Nanas and Popis, these are strange times. This morning, I was wishing I had a story to read my little guy. He’s 5 and doesn’t understand what all the fuss is about. We don’t want to overburden our children, but we can’t keep them in the dark, either. So, I just wrote something myself.
I made a little video, “Taming the Stress Monster.” Play it for your darlings, or mute the sound and read aloud. Enjoy, and please share. You are loved.
Last week my daughter brought home…the blue note. She’s in fifth grade, and apparently, this colored piece of paper is a symbolic rite of passage for pre-pubescent and newly-pubescent youth. I went to a Catholic grade school, and while we had a puberty talk, I don’t remember what color the permission slip was. But “THE BLUE NOTE” was a big deal.
My kids bounded through the front door (middle child, oldest, then youngest with the rage of a lion, always in that order). “Mom, LOOK what we got at school!!!” She was equal parts horrified, excited, nervous and thrilled. Honestly that’s probably how most kids feel about puberty in general.
I knew this was coming. I knew there would be “the talk” in fifth grade…and …
I’ve written about nearly every topic under the sun on this blog. Light stuff. Heavy stuff. In-between stuff. But there’s one thing I haven’t written about. (I have on this blog’s Facebook Page, but not as an actual blog post.) And that is my 8-year-old daughter’s autism. I used to say her “autism diagnosis,” but that’s just a blip on our journey. Yes, the actual diagnostic process is fascinating, sometimes confusing or frustrating, but ultimately, it’s a phone call from a behavioral health specialist who confirms what you’ve known since your child was an infant. They’re different.
And it’s not like I’m scared to tackle tough subjects. I’ve written about my brother’s suicide, sexual abuse, my father’s death…big, hard-hitting things. But this autism thing? Folks, I’m exhausted. And sometimes the daily madness in our household must sound …
“You should open a dessert stand! You’re the best cooker.”
My two daughters sat devouring their berry crisp, their short hair a mess, their ever-longer legs dangling from the bench seat at the kitchen table. A blueberry/strawberry/crumbly mess gathered at the edges of their stuffed mouths. Was this thrown-together dessert really that good? To them, it was. It was just sweet enough, warm, and made on a whim. A little, I suppose, like the way I mother.
As a mother of three, I’ve just now begun to take stock of the way in which I’m raising my children. I no longer pore over pages of parenting books and while I still read parenting blogs and turn to others for advice, I’m standing pretty firm on my own two exhausted legs. For the most part, I’ve got this …
The contractions hit harder and faster than I imagined. This couldn’t be the real deal, though. While I’d been dilated and effaced for weeks, with an induction scheduled the next morning, I didn’t let myself believe this was actual labor. After all, I’d had two false alarms before, and I knew they’d just send me back home if I wasn’t officially 39 weeks. I SO wanted it to be go time though. I wasn’t quite miserable yet, but I’d always dreamed of that quintessential “honey it’s time” labor sequence you see in the movies. I’d grip my belly and grab his hand while we raced to the hospital. My other two were scheduled inductions, and I always felt like all the fun was taken out, even though I enjoyed the predictability.