I allowed myself three seconds of imagining I’d lost the swimsuit so it couldn’t be worn. Then I took a deep breath and pulled the suit out from hiding.
In the car on the way to swimming I mulled over the idea of suggesting Izzy get changed in the car. I debated the pros and cons while discussing, with Izzy, for the 100th time, why we’re able to drive so fast on the motorway.
Then I realised this whole internal dialogue was becoming boring and maybe even a bit self serving. My daughter is brave. She’s strong. She knows who she is. What does it matter if another parent does a double take. So what? There’s no monsters at our swimming school anyway. Right?
I’m still nervous.
So in we go. Izzy skipping merrily to the changing rooms. (The policy at our swim school is perfect, if a parent is assisting kids must use the change room of the parent’s gender. So we’ve always used the girls.)
Looking gorgeous in her pink Elsa and Anna swimsuit we make The Long Walk – up the stairs and past a seemingly endless row of parents. Well. I walk. Izzy prances. Like a show pony. Nothing. No furrowed brows, no whispers, no shaking heads.
We sit down. Scream! I see Izzy’s teacher is away, we have Wendy though, she’ll know, right? Lauren will have made it clear, right? Wendy used to teach Freddie, so she knew Izzy before Izzy was Izzy. Bloody hell! My mouth feels dry. I’m smiling like a mad woman.
We sit, Izzy snugglng on my knee, waiting for the lesson to begin. A Dad next to us turns to Izzy and with a big smile compliments her on her new swimsuit. I’ve seen this dad once a week, every week for 6 months. His son is in the class before us. He must have noticed Izzy’s change of name last month ( it’s a small place), and now he’s…I don’t know what exactly, but I feel like he’s acknowledging and affirming Izzy’s transition, rather than saying nothing he’s said something loud and clear. Thank you Swimming Dad!
Turns out Izzy’s got Wendy to herself, the two other kids are away. Wendy doesn’t miss a beat. Chats away to Izzy like an old friend. Lauren, God bless her, must have done a handover because Wendy knows about all Izzy’s favourite things.
The lesson is fabulous. Izzy does a great job listening. I notice how she makes long and sustained eye contact with Wendy and I realise , before she was Izzy, she never looked people in the eye. I high five myself and bask in the warmth of seeing my girl flourish.
So lesson over, we get changed and head home. Success, and this week’s final frontier, achieved.