I find that being human is a very difficult task. It means that we care. Not just about others but about what others feel and what they think.
One of the phrases that I often hear is, “What are you doing? Why don’t you stop her from trying to be a boy?” I used the pronoun “her” there on purpose because some still refer to Peyton as a female. We are soon approaching the date that Peyton decided to tell me that he wanted to be a boy and people still refer to him as a female. It seems crazy to me since he is clearly not a girl.
A common misconception of those with an outsiders view of my life is that I have chosen not to prevent Peyton from being a boy. Their opinions are that when he wants to wear a boys’ outfit, I should put him in a dress. That if he wants to be a boy, I should tell him that he is a girl. I try not to let things bother me but, I am human. I can’t help but wonder about these things that others say to me. Peyton is four, how does he know what he wants or who he is? Maybe he is a confused kid. Maybe he is just bored and wants to try something new. Maybe he wants to be like all the boys around him that he admires so much. Maybe he is emulating me because I sometimes dress like a man.
I spent most of my college career studying anthropology. The fact that I obtained a degree in this area means that my brain has been conditioned to look at people in a different way then most do. I don’t believe in conforming to the way that society wants us to be. I don’t believe in living according to a basic set of standards that others believe that we must all adhere to. I believe that everyone can be whomever they want to be. Yeah my brain wanders and is often all over the place but, I don’t believe that anyone should be prevented from living the life that they see fits them as long as they do not hurt themselves or others.
Peyton is four. But this child who has been born with so many challenges knows exactly who he is. So when people ask me what I am doing, my response is, I’m being a parent. I’m being the best parent that I can be to Peyton. I’m allowing him to explore and learn and be free to be who he feels that he is. There are so many books out there on how to be a good or great parent but there isn’t a parenting manual. There is no classic textbook child. There is no mold that Peyton fits into, just like so many kids out there don’t fit into a mold. The world would be one hell of a boring place if we all fit perfectly into molds. And I truly believe that not only am I being a good parent to Peyton, but I’m also being a good parent to the rest of my kids. I’m raising them to be who they want to be and whatever way makes them happy. I’m raising my kids to be open to the differences among all of us. Are you raising your kids to be this way?