It’s been awhile

Warning: this post is different.  It talks about things that may make some readers uncomfortable – especially ones that know me personally and in parts it may be a bit graphic.  Don’t feel you have to read it, it’s just something I need to write.

So, it’s been awhile.  Kinda like a whole year while.  A weird, overwhelming, stranger-than-fiction type of year.

Last October was the break up of a ten year union between me and the father of my two beautiful children.  November heralded news of cancer, not mine.  December saw a new me, full of optimism and excitement, ready to take on the world.  January was welcomed in by a trip to chemo and every second weekend spent taking care of the patient.  February brought fear, anxiety, police, a panic button, betrayal, and really amazing friends and colleagues to my side.  March dawned the realisation of needing some help.  Professional help.  April had some upsetting news, an intentional death, an end without a closure.  May to July brought an inner strength and a continuing battle.  And now, finally,  it’s time to write.

I had this boyfriend.  I had this pretty crappy, controlling boyfriend. He was controlling.  He was violent.  And he was abusive.  This boyfriend of mine abused me in each and every way you can imagine.  Go ahead. Don’t, it’s not very pleasant.

He  had chosen a rather dark path to follow.  I don’t know why.  I wonder why.  I wonder why all night sometimes.  But I don’t know, and I’ll probably never know.  But what I do know is that his name was Christopher Alexander and he had a mother.  Christopher had a mother that loved him.  That loves him still.  I’m a mother.  I wish I could hug Christopher’s mother.  I wish I could cry with her.   Mourn her son.  He’s dead now.  Her son.  My old boyfriend.

It’s really hard to talk about Christopher.  But I need to talk about Christopher.  I need to not feel completely alone.  I can’t talk to his mum, I can only talk to you.

I don’t know what was wrong with Christopher, I wish I knew.  I wish I knew who he was as a child.  I wish I could see a photo of him as a baby.  I wish I had something to replace the horror that is my memories of him.

Christopher Alexander held me over a 12th floor  balcony once.  He held me over the balcony and he told me he was going to drop me.  He told me that my body would hit the perspex roof below and that nobody would find me until the next day.  He told me it would be classed a suicide.  Christopher told me that if I moved or screamed he would drop me.  He told me that even if I didn’t move or scream he would probably  drop me,

He didn’t drop me.

In February this year Christopher called me at work.  He spoke to our office lady,  demanding to talk to me.  Like it was his right.  I hadn’t had contact with Christopher since August 2005.  He frightened the office admin.  That’s what she told me.  She said “I’ve had a really strange call, a man asking for you”.  I knew who it was.  In Rm 9 my knees gave out and I sank to the chair behind me.  In that  moment I was reduced to the victim I had left behind 13 years ago.  I was no longer me, Mum, Teacher’s Aide, Daughter, Friend, Colleague.  Gone in just 11 words.

One time Christopher Alexander, it helps me to use his full name. For three years I knew him by the names Nicolas Larsen.  Nicolas Von Larsen.  And Nicolas Hessan.  I never really knew him at all.  One time I came home… from work.  We were staying in a university apartment in Brisbane.  I came home to find Christopher looking at Bugatti’s on the internet.  I came home, and I made a mistake.  I didn’t read his mood.  I looked over his shoulder and I commented on the car.  Christopher turned on me, pinning me to the wall he gave me a choice – to be punched in the face or the chest.

While I write this I’m listening for the very first time in 13 years to Craig Armstrong’s album The Space Between Us.  It makes my lip curl.  I love this music but it’s Christopher’s music.  I’ve listened to this music with a broken rib, because I chose to be punched in the chest.   I’m not sure if you can imagine being given a choice like this.  It’s almost impossible to make.  It’s kinda like asking a parent which child they would save if they could only save one from a car sinking in the water…fucking impossible right?  But it was a choice I was forced to make.  When Christopher said “if you choose the face I will probably have to kill you because of the bruising” it didn’t actually make the choice that much easier.  I didn’t want to be punched at all.  The inner strength it takes to remove your arms from across your chest and wait to be punched is almost unimaginable.

Christopher Alexander killed himself on the first Monday of the April school holidays this year.  Well, he was found dead that day.  By a friend.  He had friends.  The police said it was alcohol poisoning. The coroner recorded his death as “intentional”  The trauma counselor that contacted me called it suicide.  None of these surprised me.  None of these comforted me.  He had a mum.

In February when Christopher contacted me he used his alias.  My boss took me to the police station to file a complaint.  My boss was the strength I needed. The police had nothing to go on.  Nothing.  And they made that pretty clear.  No name?  No case.  But Christopher made a mistake.  In the sixth call he made to my work that day he left a voice message with his mobile number.  That mistake gave me so  many answers.

In the weeks that followed there were more visits to “the station”.  My boss drove me and waited in the foyer.  She bought me a coffee, made small talk, helped me to feel normal.  There were follow up statements.  Meetings with different police teams.  Practice interviews.

And then, then the big day,  I gave evidence on video at the police station.  It took 2 1/2 hours.  A lady police officer led the interview in a little room.  There were two arm chairs and a two seater sofa.  I sat on the sofa and the interviewer sat on my right, in a chair.  There were a couple of cushions, during various stages of the interview I hugged these to me.  There was nowhere to hide.  A camera was installed in the wall in front of me.  In an adjacent room a male officer sat directing the interview.  He was joined by the Detective Constable in charge of my case and  a support worker from the charity HELP.  They listened to everything I said.  They watched me.  For 2 1/2 hours. They brought me coffee and told me what a great job I was doing.

The evidence I gave was to support the case being sent via Interpol to Australia.  I had been asked whether I wanted to pursue charges for the crimes Christopher Alexander committed against me.  Some of the crimes he committed warranted  extradition.

Telling, reliving those offences,  was the most difficult and at the same time the most freeing moment of my life thus far.  To be surrounded by people who knew  I was telling the truth, who were outraged, who wanted to fight for me.  In that moment I felt loved.

One time I came home from work and Nicolas was sitting on the sofa in the lounge of the furnished apartment we’d rented, there were a couple of empty wine bottles on the floor beside him and a pile of GQ magazines on the table in front of him.  Nicolas accused me of tearing out pages from the magazine.  Pictures of male models.  I knew he knew I hadn’t done it, because I hadn’t done it so the only person who could have done it was  him.  But in the end I saw there was no way around it.  I would have to admit to having done something I hadn’t done, knowing that my accuser had done it himself.  So I did.  Nicolas told me that my punishment would come later.  He told me he would inject me with a chemical that would make me feel like I’d been set alight.  On fire.  My body would feel like it was burning up.  It would last for hours.  I wouldn’t be burnt.  But I’d feel like I was on fire.  He told me if I were really strong I could convince my mind it was just a chemical and control the pain.  He said he didn’t think I was that strong.  Then he butted me in the head, and I passed out.

It turned out that when I met Christopher in 2002, he was on the run from a court case.  He’d skipped town.  Skipped states.  Changed his name.  Ditched his identity.  I left him in 2005.  In 2009 he was arrested for I don’t know what, fingerprinted and subsequently identified as Christopher Alexander.  Wanted for skipping his court case.  Skipping a trial for the rape of a 16 year old girl.

I found this out at the end of my 2 1/2 hour testimony.  The Detective Sgt came into the room.  He was carrying a brown manila folder.  He sat down in the chair next to me and he said “I’ve got some news”.  “I want you to prepare yourself because I’m going to show you some photos of who I think ‘Nicolas’ is and he’s going to look quite different”.

James passed me the first sheet.  It was of an old man.  He looked like a homeless person.  He had Nicolas’s nose.

He didn’t look like the person I’d met in Cairns, lived with in Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast.  He didn’t look like the man who had strangled me till I passed out.  Or the person that told me he would go to Melbourne and rape my niece if I tried to leave him.  He wasn’t the person I remembered waiting for me behind the door with a knife or the person that locked me out of my own house at night.

“Is that Nicolas?” he asked me.  Fuck.

Nicolas was Christopher.  Or Christopher had been Nicolas.  Nicolas had been arrested in 2009.  He was spent 8 years in prison in NSW.  EIGHT years.  Nicolas had been on the run.   On the run when he was with me.  The picture James showed me was from Christopher’s passport.  Christopher’s NZ passport.  Christopher’s passport that the NZ embassy in Sydney had issued only to accommodate his deportation.  Deportation to Wellington where he was to serve out his two years parole.  Australia sent him back.  A violent sexual offender.

James explained to me.  I sat and said Oh my God.  Oh my God.

I miss James.  The first man that ever really gave a fuck.

Christopher is dead.  The panic button in my kitchen cupboard is now moot.  I don’t have to look over my shoulder, or worry about who is coming after my kids.  I don’t have to, but I still look under my bed and in all the cupboards before I turn the lights out.  I still rely on medicine to control my anxiety and more to allow me to sleep.  I still need weekly appointments to guide me back to the living.   I still wonder why the men in my life don’t honor me, refuse to stand up for me, take my side, fight my battles with me.  I wonder what I could have done differently to prevent a death.  I wonder who I am and who I will be now.  I wonder if I’ll ever be whole.

 

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The ivy is choking you – week 180

Heather Coldstream is a bit of a hero of mine, she writes so deeply and so beautifully about her life and experience as a woman who was AMAB (assigned male at birth). In this post she uses a metaphor to explain the power, and indeed, the challenges, of transitioning. It gives me so much to ponder and so much to be grateful for- that Izzy was able to strip those young shoots away before the concealed her completely. It also further fills my heart with love for those who approach this stripping away, or don’t. Bless you Heather xxx

Becoming Me

English ivy is a noxious weed where I live and I hate it. It’s also a perfect fucking metaphor for gender dysphoria.

Left alone to grow, its leaf cover and epiphytic roots will choke trees and understory plants and take years or decades off their lifespans by making them more susceptible to pests and toppling in windstorms.

Besides creating shoots to creep along the ground, it sends vines up trees to reproduce. At first, it’s just a few shoots here and there. It’s easy to peel off the strands when they’re thin, but the roots will leave little marks on the bark. If you let it go a season or more, the vines grow thicker and require real effort to remove, often with small sections of bark.

If ignored for years or decades the vines turn into woody cables thicker than your wrist, requiring a saw to cut through and…

View original post 751 more words

Doors slam

Today is a me day.  The kids are at the school holiday club today ( a special treat) and I have nothing more planned than a haircut and to run a few errands and read my book.  It’s going to be nice.  Harry even did the grocery shopping last night so I wouldn’t have to contend with that today.  On my day.

Freddie had a rough morning on my me day.  This me day.  Being the last day of the holidays, and being a tad sleepy eyed – when the kids asked me “can we watch this morning”, I wavered.  Never waiver!  It’s like the first rule of parenthood, isn’t it?  In Parenting for Dummies, I’m sure it takes up a whole chapter.  Never waiver.  I wavered.  Mistake number one. The precursor to Freddie’s rough morning.

So Freddie retired to his room with my laptop to watch a Harry Potter film and Izzy in my bed watching Ben and Holly or some such.  Izzy snuggling up with me.  Freddie shut away in his own world.  His preferred world.  To my credit, I did have the sense to include some stipulations – 8am when my alarm goes off, the devices go off, no fussing.  Get dressed, teeth and then you can play.

At 750 I alerted them.  Freddie: “Yes, yes”  Izzy “Ok mum.”

8am my alarm goes off.  Izzy:  “Okay mum, what shall we play?”  Freddie: “F***ing this, F***ing that….”  Total rage and complete loss of self-control.  Door slams.  And slams.  And slams.

My beautiful first born son, not yet eight years old, has hit me and kicked me, yelled at me, threatened me and slammed the door behind me as I retreat from the room.  I feel like a FUCKING FAILURE!  I mean please, what kind of mother has an eight-year-old child that swears at her and hits her on almost a daily basis, sometimes several times a day?  I am ashamed, not of my son but of myself.  It weighs me down this shame.  It drags behind me, clinging to my shoulders as I try to go about my day with a smile on my face.  It lies in my chest like a lump of cold hard rock, locked there so I can be sure my son feels loved and accepted.  Locked there to protect him from the judgement and disapproval of people who don’t see this side of him, but hearing it could not help but change their opinion of him.

High functioning autism is a beautiful gift and a dreadful curse, all wrapped up in the mind and body of my beautiful, first born child.  It will never go away.  Accepting that it’s not simply a failure in our parenting style is actually really difficult.  Because we are failing, almost every day, to give Freddie what he needs to live a calm and peaceful life.  His rages affect us all.  Not in the least what it must feel like to him, to lose control.  To struggle to find peace.

I’m not sure where this post is heading, perhaps it’s just a release of the intense sadness I feel today, having the time, alone, to indulge in my feelings.  Acknowledge them and accept them.  Share them.  Not having to push them to the side, Keep Calm and Carry On.

The sky is grey, heavy with rain and thunder rumbles.  Even the weather joins me today.  In quiet grief.

 

 

 

Seven Facts About Gender You Should Know

Originally published in HuffPost by Brynn Tannehill.

Just because you don’t understand something doesn’t invalidate it.

In the past few months there have been an increasing number of attacks on the legitimacy of transgender and gender non-conforming people coming from both the left and the right. Most of In the past few months there have been an increasing number of attacks on the legitimacy of transgender and gender non-conforming people coming from both the left and the right. Most of these attacks stem from either a flawed understanding of gender, misrepresentation of evidence, or deliberate obtuseness. The responses to these attacks have generally failed to address these underlying problems.
Gender and gender expression are complicated, but not nearly so much as critics would like to claim. They are also not inherently contradictory, nor anti-feminist. Indeed, they can be liberating for everyone. Here are the things you need to know about gender and gender identity in this blizzard of misinformation.

Click here to continue reading

What is woven

It’s taken me a while to get back to this post, “today” was last Friday.

Today was a big day.  Today was just like any other day.  But it was a big day.  Two wonderful years at kindy have come to an end, and it is the day where we step out of one bubble , and into the next, with the hope it will be as safe and indestructible as this one has been.

If you knew Izzy before you’ll know just how much her life has changed.  Not just her name and her gender marker, but her whole way of being.  Being affirmed as a female allowed Izzy to step out into the light and my god does she shine!  She was given the space to shine at her kindy.  Her teachers waited patiently and when the light began to show through they welcomed it, encouraged it and celebrated it with us.

Leaving this wonderful place today, another mum asked me – do I feel sad to be leaving it behind?  The answer is – no, I don’t.  Kindy has given me something much greater than a dependence, they’ve given my child the skills and the tools to move on to her next place in the world.  They’ve helped to provide her with a super strong sense of self.  They know her, and to be truly known is one of the most important gifts you can receive.  They’ve cemented my belief that being open about your weaknesses and honest about your needs, leads to receiving help to strengthen that which is weak and fill that which is needed.

When I say “kindy” has given us these things, of course it is the wonderful supervisor, as she calls herself (I think pillar of support and wisdom probably more apt) and teachers that I am actually referring to.  It’s not kindy itself, it’s the people who make it special.  I will miss these people and I will keep in touch, but leaving them behind is a part of life – they continue to work their magic and it is a wonderful feeling to know that they are out there doing what they do.

So while I feel I’ve had to say a goodbye of sorts, it’s less of a door closing than another one opening.  I’m excited to see how the people and experiences through this new door will enrich Izzy’s life and how she might enrich theirs.

I’ve written before about the bubbles we exist in, but today I feel like it’s more of a grand tapestry – Izzy’s has only just begun in it’s creation, each experience will add to it’s design and we have no idea how it will end up looking.  I can see it in my mind’s eye though – a life of joy, tempered by sadness and loss, as everyone’s lives are, but dominated by joy.

Here’s to open doors!

 

Headaches and kufuffles

There’s this really nasty tension headache that’s been imposing itself upon me the last few days.  Really nasty.  So nasty in fact that I had to ask Harry to come home from work early yesterday.  With some peace and quiet the headache faded back into a dull ache, but during a phone call to our GP just now,  it’s threatening a full scale return.

I’ve got Freddie sitting/lying on the arm of the chair next to me, humming and thumping his foot to the tune of the Irish national anthem (of course), it’s pulsating through my head and I feel like screaming.  

Last week the kids appointment letters arrived regarding their tonsillectomies set for May.  Yup, just as school goes back I’ll have the two monkeys back at home for a week.  Why my wish for them to be operated on during the holidays was not granted, I will never know.

But anyway, I digress.  Freddie’s letter was all good, but Izzy’s was addressed to the wrong freaking person – yus, having changed her NHI details in one excruciatingly revealing conversation some months back, and having since received all hospital correspondence with the correct details, we now, just a couple of weeks away from her op’ discover she is now a he.  Excuse my swearing, but FARK!

Long story short, it turns out SOMEONE has changed her record back to her birth name and gender and written on it in capital letters, actual capital letters – DO NOT CHANGE THIS CHILD’S DETAILS.  Who the hell did that I don’t know, but I wonder if they could even come close to guessing the extreme anguish and distress it has caused?

My GP discovered this info for me, because a “member of the public” can’t contact this particular office.  Even though it was this member of public who requested the name/gender marker change in the beginning.  The lady she spoke to said that if the family gives their consent then she is happy to change the record, BUT because there is this note on there she can’t until she’s spoken to the Ministry of Health.  Now the Ministry of Health says in their policy on transgender health care, that it is a human right for trans patients to have their records changed to reflect their name and gender and that no ‘proof’ of being transgender is required.  So who was it?  Why didn’t they just contact me, or our GP if there was some sort of problem?  Surely it’s a breach of Izzy’s human rights for this to have been done without our knowledge?

So yes, tension headache is returning, but two days running I can’t get Harry home early, so I’m ploughing on through.

On the bright side we celebrated Izzy’s last day at kindy today.  More on that later.

The big five

Izzy passed a new milestone – she turned a fabulous, glamorous, glorious five years old!

We celebrated with a pile of her little friends and cousins and their mum’s (plus a couple of brave dads) on a Sunday morning a couple of weeks ago and man was it lovely!  The kids played outside, sat happily at the table making masks, grazed on the party food and loved the bubble machine.  You can’t go wrong with bubbles, you really can’t.  There was a piñata and no one got a black eye.  No one!

The cake even turned out okay, and my cakes rarely turn out ok. Like when Iz turned two,  I had a disaster of a cake situation.  The first cake (yup I baked two) sank, and I mean really sank, like the crater on Mt Eden “sank”. So I whizzed up another one, like any dedicated mother right?  It OVERFLOWED in the oven!  I didn’t realise until the smoke started billowing through the house!  Not a good cake story.  I ended up covering the crater of the first in icing and chocolate fingers.

This year I decided to buy a sponge and put all my effort in to decorating the bugger, but what the heck?  When I went to the supermarkets (three different ones) to buy the sponge and to get the edible flowers which I wanted to coat in sugar and use as decoration – none of the trio stocked either!  So I searched Foolproof birthday cake and came up with a questionable recipe – put all the ingredients into the cake mixer, and mix.  This is my new go to cake recipe, and I’m sorry to say – the Hummingbird Cafe “Cake Days” recipe book has been pushed to the back of the bookcase, no longer will it taunt me with delicacies I’m just not competent enough to produce!!

All that aside, the window dressing that is, the very best thing about the party was seeing Izzy so happy, so at ease with her peers, so full of joy.  I can’t put in to words how incredible it has/is been to witness such a huge change in our child – Harry and I can only shake our heads and smile. The kind of smile that makes your face sore.  That kind of smile.  It’s honestly such an amazing feeling.

It feels like forever ago when I wrote Feeling the love rejoicing the dramatic change in Izzy’s behavior, being able to relax in playgrounds, not worrying about my child attacking someone else’s.  No.  Those days are long gone and the party was another reminder of just how powerful affirming Izzy as a girl was.

The other thing the party reminded me, was of the support and acceptance we’ve received from the families at kindy, if any of you are reading this – Thank you from the bottom of my heart!  I know you think, it’s no big deal, but it actually is.  Val, the teachers and you beautiful kindy parents (and my school friends) were my haven during those really hard early days when we were navigating Izzy’s transition and at the same time, dealing with the rejection from members of my family.  You’ve never questioned our decision or demanded explanations, or set out conditions.  Nothing changed with you guys except the name you called my child.  Thank you.

So now the kid is five.  Fabulous, glamorous, glorious five.

 

 

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Life with a transgender child

Simply months ago, a new blogging friend asked me if I would consider writing a guest post for her blog – Thatswhatlynnsaid  I leapt at the chance, being a follower and fan of Lynn’s writing – she advocates for transgender people, and writes straight from her big, warm, heart.  Being me, I’ve only just got it finished!

It would be awesome if you scooted over to check it out, and while you’re there – read some of Lynn’s other posts like They’re Not Just Numbers where she writes about the homeless and you’ll figure out why I like her.

Lynn has also written a book Who Am I If You’re Not You? Loves journey beyond gender, you can read all about it here.

Lizzie Marvelly: Our toilets are the new battleground

It’s good to be in an empty house, sitting with a cup of tea when you read these sorts of articles.

That’s where I am now.  It’s 11am on a beautiful Saturday morning.

My home has been alive with constant chatter and creative energy, since 630am.  Izzy has watched 45 mins of her favourite YouTube show – CookieSwirlC, eaten breakfast, created an amazing house on wheels out of Duplo, reorganised her bedroom, dressed twice, had her nails done by Harry and filled in the rest of the time with hugs and kisses.  Freddie started the day with a rare cuddle, returned to bed to study his atlas, watched YouTube videos of Mt Ruapehu erupting, searched for his walkie talkies, designed a birthday flyer for Esme, got dressed in clothes best suited for winter, redressed in something similar but less fleece, and assembled his volcanologist kit.  Harry has been out to do the grocery shopping, I’ve baked cookies, packed lunches and filled the ice block molds in between responding to requests for help from the two creative geniuses that have the run of our home.

This is a NORMAL family!  These are normal things that happen in our family.  Then I sit down and read this in the paper and I think how the abnormal lurks just on the fringe of our society.  How the abnormal seem to have so much time on their hands beats me?  How do people have the time, between doing all this normal family shit, that surely can’t just be going on in my home, to be soooo concerned about other people’s PRIVATE business of where they go for a wee???

And I realised, this is the crap (you guys in the states are dealing with this big time I know) we need to look out for.  To YOU family, to You friends, to you other mum’s at school, at kindy, to you who support and accept Izzy, please read this article from the NZ Herald.

Let it sink in.

Think about what it means and decide, now, which side of the line you stand.  Because you who support Izzy, loud and proud or quietly and from a distance – you are her allies and by extension you are allies to transgender kids everywhere.  I ask that if you hear this fear mongering, this hate talk, this BS, SPEAK UP!  Tell the person as politely as you can, that you don’t agree with them.  Be calm, be fierce, be whatever, but please don’t be silent.

Somewhere between the broken soap dispenser, the constantly dripping tap and the hand drier that hasn’t worked in about 20 years, it appears that you’ll now find conservative lobby group Family First lurking in the background to ensure each girl who pops in for a wee between classes has the type of genitalia up her skirt that Family First deems appropriate.

Click here to read the rest of the article from NZ Herald

Being brave

(This is a week old, I must have got distracted!). 

I was planning on writing a follow up to my last (brief) post, but there’s something else on my mind, some other words that need to get out.

Today someone did something really lovely for me.  Another mum turned to me in assembly, took a deep breath, and blurted out something she’d been debating whether to say or not.  She wanted to know if she could do this lovely thing for me, but, understandably as we don’t yet know each other really well, she wasn’t sure how I would receive this offer.  Would I be insulted?  Embarrassed?  Horrified?  Clearly I was thrilled and am enjoying the spoils of her thoughtfulness as I type.  

Be brave.  If you have good thoughts act on them.  If you hear of someone in need help them.  If you see someone having a rough day – go bake those cookies, wrap them up and brighten up that persons day.  There is something very special about the connection made when someone does something for you selflessly.

Thank you “someone”, you know who you are. X

Why I’m embracing the bow tie

It’s our third day back at school.  I have precisely 14 minutes before it’s time to up sticks and leave to pick Freddie up.

It’s our third day back at school.  The third day of Freddie wearing a skirt to school.  Let me stop ya right here…Freddie is not my transgender child.  That’s Izzy.  Izzy is transgender.  Freddie is, well, Freddie is Freddie and Freddie does what feels good for Freddie.  And what feels good right now – is wearing a skirt.

Freddie wears his skirts long and flowing.  He wears his skirts (one belongs to Izzy, one is from the dress up box, and one is a donation from my wardrobe which my mum took in for him during the hols) with one of several long sleeved shirts.  He wears his shirts buttoned up to the collar.  He wears his collar with either a bow tie or a regular tie.  Freddie chooses striped socks pulled up and black dress shoes we bought him for my sisters wedding.  On top of this he wears a long blue wizard like dressing gown.  Hooded.  He is utterly and totally happy.

I can see that people are wondering, what the F is going on here?  First the little one and now the big one?  Where did they spend the holidays – some kind of re-gendering camp?  Let me ease your minds.  When Freddie was almost three we lived with his Nana, Freddie adores his Nana and very much enjoyed dressing up in her high heels and “borrowing” her t-shirts to wear as dresses.  There was “peachy” and “stripy”, two tops I remember well.  He’s always been happy to slip in to a dress/skirt/heels…  At kindergartens he wore nail polish and drew a little following of boys who also came with their nails done.

Freddie is a boy who has the confidence and the inclination to wear attire that is considered feminine.  Freddie has been brought up hearing “It isn’t what’s on the outside that counts, it’s what’s on the inside”, “Do we judge people for the way we look?  No, that’s silly.  We judge people on how they act”.

This post has been sitting in my drafts folder waiting for some love, and hear it is three weeks later.  Freddie is still wearing skirts and shirts, but we seem to have misplaced the tie!  Here’s what I’ve learnt – kids are really, really accepting.  With the exception of the very few who have something unkind to say to almost everyone smaller than them, NO ONE CARES that Freddie is wearing a dress.   As far as I can see, they just see Freddie.  It’s just another little character trait that makes up one of their school mates.

I find it interesting, because even my mum, who as I’ve said before is 100% supportive and loving, finds it difficult not to encourage Freddie to wear more “ordinary” clothes to school.  It’s intriguing is it not?  It was only in the early 20th century that woman began to wear trousers, even then it was frowned upon – but before that, just not accepted, any way or any form.  Is it not just the same now – why shouldn’t men be able to wear skirts or dresses?  In many countries men wear dresses – right?  So it’s just cultural and cultures evolve over time.  I LOVE that my kid walks his own path.  

I honestly never imagined motherhood would be such a period of evolution – the person my children have made me, is not the one who stood before.