Gender Authentic

Lyme took my brain. Everyday, reasonable tasks take herculean effort, and anything extra (filling out a school form, making an eye appointment, cashing a check) isn’t getting done. I have simple work assignments, and my cursor bounces around my screen like a snake on glass. Moving, moving, moving, but no progress.

I have dozens of drafts saved for this blog, but I haven’t been able to complete anything. Since writing has always given me energy in the past, I thought I’d try some shorter posts. Also, my memory quit, and I want a record of this time. My world is so bizarre.

Gerald is taking ballet–it’s recommended for figure skaters. I didn’t know how this would go over with my husband, but apparently ballet is acceptable. “All the football players take ballet,” he tells me. So there you go.

Gerald is becoming more comfortable with being gender authentic.

I like thinking of my kids as “authentic” rather than “gender creative.” There’s nothing creative about liking the things they like. I’ve been assured many times that my kids might outgrow their “gender creativity” or “gender non-conformity” but “gender authentic” makes it clear that I don’t want them to outgrow it.

Anyway, after a squabble the other day Oswald stood on the porch and yelled to the neighborhood, “My brother takes ballet!” Gerard yelled back, “I take ballet, and I don’t care who knows it!”

Bam.

This is the kid who didn’t want to get out of the car at the dance store because he didn’t want the people who sell dance shoes to know he was taking ballet.

I’m so proud of him.

And I’m so proud of me.

Part of the lyme deal is a deep, deep depression. It’s hard not to be depressed when you start losing the ability to do the things you love the most. The house is a disaster and when I’m sick there isn’t anything I can do about it, so just being in the house is tough. I could go on and on with all the things I can’t do right now, but what I need to focus on is what I am able to do. I can’t and I won’t take credit or blame for the budding artist in Oswald, for his love of dolls and pink and glitter and pop stars and princess gowns. Not for Gerald either with his love for and developing talent on the ice and at the ballet bar and costumes that shine. But I will take credit that at such a young age they are living authentically, loving themselves and embracing the things that make them different from other boys. Some days with lyme it feels like supporting them in their journey is the only thing I can do, and I’m reminded again that it’s the only thing that matters.

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