The sun has been out for three days in a row and I feel like a human again. A human with a future. Life has promise again. And I’m no longer cold.
The sun’s return has me making plans for picnics at the beach. It has me sitting with a cup of tea, painting with Izzy. I don’t feel the same need to keep busy, I feel so happy.
Yesterday we stayed to play after school, I stood with a couple of mum friends chatting about what to cook for dinner, birthday parties, and shooting ideas around for our next couple of school fundraisers.
Standing there, in the sun. I realised something. I realised how much things have changed since the last time we stood by the playground chatting.
Not once in an hour did I have to race to the rescue of another child. You have no idea the exhilaration this filled me with. I was standing there chatting! I was standing there chatting, free of anxiety. I was standing there chatting, and my child was playing beautifully!
You see, last term, before we truely understood Izzy’s feelings on her gender, school pick-ups and drop-offs were horrendous. Something to be feared and dreaded. That’s twice a day, five times a week. That sort of dread wears a girl down. It kinda makes ya wonder how you can go on.
I tried EVERYTHING – discussions, short and long. Role playing. Consequences. Rewards. Verbal praise. Withdrawing my attention. Ignoring. Warnings… Everything. But no matter what, Izzy would end up making someone cry. She’d grab her friends around the neck and squeeze until they were so frightened they needed their mum’s to comfort them. She hit people as she passed them. She’d damage people’s creations. Get in kids faces. Generally just make herself really unpopular.
My friends were so forgiving, their children never held grudges but it was such a dreadful situation and I seemed to have no power to change it.
Then. It stopped. It stopped when we all affirmed Izzy in her chosen gender. It stopped and it was nothing I did. It wasn’t the work of any therapist. It wasn’t the result of reading any parenting books.
It stopped because finally it was possible for Izzy to be herself. She came out and we love her.