Tomorrow, our son turns ONE. Yep, it is his first birthday…as his true self. In all actuality, he will be 12. Last year, we had started the physical transformation before his eleventh birthday, but we had not publicly told people outside our close inner circle that he was in fact transitioning. Everyone just assumed his *tomboy* ways kicked it up a notch. Well, this year, as he celebrates his first birthday as a boy and his last birthday before he becomes a teenager, I (mom) find myself experiencing a whole array of emotions that totally caught me off guard.
I was driving home from the store today after picking up the last minute essentials for the big day and it hit me. Water works started and I had no idea what came over me, but I just cried. Cried because that tomboy little girl, with long straight hair is gone. My rough and tough daughter that loved all things boy is gone. I guess people always asked me if I ever mourned the loss of our daughter and I always said no as I felt like we didn’t lose anything as we already had two other daughters. I felt like I gained something we didn’t have – a son. But, I guess, I had a moment of mourning today for what we will no longer ever have…
Having said that, I got home and started on making his birthday cake. A cake my amazing husband picked out at the store over the weekend. It is a rainbow cake and totally fits our son. As I was painstakingly trying to make all the layers work, I was overcome with even more emotion at how wonderful my husband is. Although he is a jokester and likes to poke fun at others, he has not missed a beat in parenting this kiddo of ours. He is bravely and boldly accepting our child for who he is. He is talking about our son being transgender to his friends and is continuing to love our child just the same. He and our son had a very special bond from the moment my husband stepped into our lives. I worried that it would change or lessen or be different once our son told us he was transitioning. Although their relationship is evolving, I know they love each other just the same and I am so proud and thankful to have this man by my side each day, helping me get through the tough days and celebrating the great days.
We now have this pre-teen boy who confuses us daily as he matures into his own self. I am still proud of how courageous and brave he is, but will admit that I sometimes feel lost in parenting him. I think he is still trying to find his own unique sense of self and in the process, we are watching and scratching our heads. Things he would NEVER do when he was stuck in his old body, we are finding him doing now. For example, you would have never caught him pre transition in anything PINK. Nope. Don’t even think about it. But, today, he walked out of his room in pink socks and a pink hat. I just try to giggle quietly and let him be, but it is all so strange to witness. Now, before you go lecturing me on gender expression or boy versus girl things, know that I am OK with whatever my son chooses to express, but I am being honest here with my feelings and it sometimes is all so overwhelming.
As tomorrow nears, I reflect back over his childhood and know that all the signs pointed to him being born in the wrong body. When I see old photos and videos, I see it. When I remember events in his life, I see it. I know 100% without a doubt, my son is a boy. I look forward to his last year as a pre-teen and hope he continues to blossom into his own unique self. Please keep us in your positive thoughts or prayers or whatever you believe, as I know it only gets harder raising children into teenagers and my husband and I fully expect this kiddo of ours to be a handful.