Well, hello there 2013, what do you have in store for us this year?
A friend of mine doesn’t like odd-numbered years because they are typically unlucky for her. I thought back on my odd-numbered years. My odd-numbered years include graduation from high school, graduation from college, getting married, having C.J.’s Brother, having C.J. and starting this blog. If I didn’t want to jinx myself, I’d say that odd-numbered years have always been good to me.
Two years ago I started Raising My Rainbow because I had a two-(almost three)-year-old boy who liked “girl toys” and “girl clothes.” I was full of questions and anxiety. I didn’t know what was going on with my son and his preferences. I didn’t know what I was supposed to do as his parent. I had a million questions but no answers. I used humor and writing to cope and started to feel my way down a path I hadn’t ever expected to take.
Then, things got emotional as my readers educated me and I realized that the simple act of my son playing with a doll could be a signal of much bigger things to come. Was our son a girl born into the body of a boy? Was he transgender, transsexual, effeminate, gay, gender queer, gender fluid, gender creative, gender nonconforming, something else? What do those terms really mean anyway?
As parents, my husband and I have asked each other and ourselves questions that we never anticipated. What if our son is gay? What if our son is bullied? What do we do when our third grader threatens suicide because he’s bullied for having a gender nonconforming brother? Ten years from now, will we have two sons or one son and one daughter?
During the last two years, we slowly got to the point where we knew the answer to each of the questions above and dozens of others. It’s the same answer, no matter the question: We’ll deal with it. We’ll love, support and provide a safe home for our children no matter what. Realizing that answer gave us power and reassurance.
We’ll deal with it. We’ll deal with it. We’ll. Deal. With. It.
We began to own our differences. All of us: Me, C.J.’s Dad, C.J.’s Brother and C.J. We began to live free of shame. Then, four months ago, C.J. started kindergarten and stopped owning it. We’ve watched as our diva son who was once brimming with confidence and self-assuredness realized that his peers had less than favorable opinions about what he likes and wears, about how he talks and walks, about how he sits with his legs crossed like a girl and has a wrist that goes limp when not kept in check.
There was a time when our gender creative son didn’t care about what other people thought about him, but we did – big time. We were stuck caring what others would think or say or do. He owned it, but we didn’t. We followed his lead. We caught up. And, when we started owning it and not giving a shit about the reactions and judgments of others, C.J. started noticing and caring and adjusting his behaviors accordingly. It felt like we were two steps behind. We caught up to him. We were all at the same point for a time holding hands. And, then C.J. took a step back, yanking us back with him.
Back we went, following his lead. Loving him, not changing him.
When I started this blog I promised myself that I’d write for a year and reassess. I did that and decided to continue writing for another year and reassess. I just spent two weeks doing that. I’ve decided to give it another year. And, I’ll need your help, feedback and support more than ever before as we enter a new phase.
I hope that you’ll continue to follow and be a part of our adventures. There’s comfort in knowing that you care and are cheering us on.
Let’s make 2013 fabulous!
Mom, Dad, Brother and C.J.