Each day, no matter how great (or how exhausting) is another day closer to our bubble popping. To Izzy’s bubble popping. Click here for a quick reminder of what our bubble is all about.
When Izzy turns five and starts school, we’ll be saying goodbye to the safe, loving, controlled world of our wonderful kindergarten. We’ll be leaving behind (though I hope we’ll keep in touch) one of the most amazing woman I’ve ever met. (I often think about how I could write a post to do this woman justice, I hope I figure it out soon.) We’ll also say goodbye to three incredible early childhood teachers, and a small handful of relieving teachers who are without exception, great. The familar smiles and greetings of the other mums. I don’t want to leave this place behind.
But it’s not about me, is it. My fears and my attachments are just that – mine. Izzy is strong. Izzy is strong because she comes from a loving family. Izzy is strong because she will have spent two years, before entering the school system, in a kindy that loves, affirms and supports her – whatever that took. Izzy is stong because Izzy is strong. She’s an amazing child.
Izzy and I have been talking strategies. Casually! Hey Iz, so if a kid at school is like ‘You’re not a girl, you’re a boy’, what would you say? ‘I’d just say I’m a girl’. ‘That’s awesome! What if they were being twits and they were like ‘No, you’re a boy!’?’ ‘Mum, I’d just walk away. I’m a girl.’
I asked Izzy who she could go to if she felt hurt or upset by something someone said or did to her. She named straight off four adults at school who are EXACTLY the people she should go to. She instinctively knows, or I guess she’s just really bright and has worked it all out:).
I asked Izzy where she would prefer to get changed for swimming (twice a week in term one and four). She said she’d like to get changed in private, she didn’t want the girls to see she what she has. I’ve tried really hard never to make her think having a penis is something to be ashamed of, but still, deep down she is well and truely concious that this is the difference between her, and other girls.
I’ve been talking to Izzy about how everyone has something about them that is different in someway. When I was a kid my ears stuck out. Like really stuck out. Now I actually have no memory of this bugging me, or being teased about it, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t, I must ask my mum. Anyway when I was about nine I had an operation to ‘pin’ them back. Not for a second am I comparing the effect of having jug ears to that of gender dysphoria, but my point to Izzy was that there was nothing inherently wrong with my ears, they just stuck out more than most other people. I’m not making this sound quite how I mean it, but I read this amazing post yesterday, you can read it here, from the blog Growing Up Transgender which says exactly what I’m trying to. Reading it, I realised how important it is to verbalise – Izzy wasn’t born in the wrong body. I quote from that post:
You are not a girl in a boy’s body.
This is your body, and you are a girl.
So I told her this, and you know what she said? She said ‘Mum, I’m a person, just like everyone else.’
I’m not saying I can possibly know my child’s mind, and I know one could read all sorts of things into what she says – she’s trying to please me… but it’s just possible that this kid, who happens to be transgender, is strong. This kid is going to make it. Because this kid has a family who adores her. This kid has a Dad who loves her. A brother who will fight for her. She’s going to make it because this kid is supported by five grandparents, loved and affirmed by aunties and great aunties, cousins and second cousins. She has a community of people behind her, medical professionals, education professionals, mums, dads and friends. This kid isn’t treading a brand new path, she’s following in the footsteps of the courageous. The world is ready for her. And last, but not least – this kid is going to make it, because her mum won’t accept anything less.