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Swimming

Peyton is now five years old. In a couple of weeks we will reach the 1 year mark of Peyton becoming himself. As he gets older, we slowly face more of the issues that he will have to live with for the rest of his life.

As his mom, my main concern is to prepare him for what the future has in store for him. Currently, I do not feel equipped to prepare him for his future. Some days I want to teach him that the world is full of ice cream and rainbows so that he grows to be optimistic about the world around him. Other days I want to shield him from what we see in the news from day to day. And other times I want to raise him to be weary of all those out there whom he might not be able to trust. I don’t yet know what is the correct path for us to take. Swimming leads me towards the shielding.

He is barely 5 and he is a boy in the body of a girl. Due to his developmental delays, he doesn’t quite understand that all those around him don’t understand why he has the body of a girl. I guess as any 5 year old he doesn’t understand why he should hide who he is. Looking at him I know that he just sees himself for who he is. Most days the fact that he has a vagina and not a penis does not bother him at all. However, I know for a fact that this is not the world that we live in. So we go swimming and he wears swim trunks and a swim shirt. Not that he has breasts to cover but, I want him to be used to wearing a shirt with his bathing suit to make his life a little simpler later on. Our brains seem to adjust better if we have a lifetime of training rather then when we have to make a sudden change, so we go with the shirt. After swimming, kids typically strip down and change into regular street clothing. In my eyes this is not an option for Peyton. At 5 years old, there are other kids who already tease, other kids who look and shame, and parents who are shocked that a little boy has a vagina. While all of this is ridiculous to me, it is the reality. I’m not ashamed or embarrassed of explaining to other parents that my child is a boy trapped in the body of a girl. But I think Peyton deserves the right to decide who knows about him and who doesn’t. While it doesn’t matter now, a few years down the line, when all of these kids are his peers in the classroom, it will matter. He will be the one to deal with bullies and with teasing because inevitably that will happen. So for now, I’m the overprotective mother who hides his physical body while allowing him to live the life that he feels best fits him. It’s kind of contradictory and I hope that, for now at least, Peyton doesn’t realize this. At no point in his life do I want him to be embarrassed of who he is.

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Religion/Church and Us

First off I want to apologize for my hiatus, the children keep this momma busy all the time and have to be entertained with activities to keep their little brains learning. Sometimes this takes all of my time.

The nature and complexity of my household has lead me to searching for other avenues of schooling for my children. Currently, we are exploring home schooling. Before I am crucified for this let me say that we are a very active family in exploring the world around us and there is no lack of social interactions for my kids. They are involved in many, many after school activities and extra curricular activities as well. I began researching the idea of home schooling because I do not want Peyton to be picked on in school, but also because he is behind in school and I want him to be able to focus and learn in an environment that is better set up for his learning needs. My eldest I want to home school because he is also very behind in school and is coming home with some behaviors that I don’t want him exposed to at this early age.

In my search I came across a group affiliated with the Evangelical Free Church. Prior to this, I did not know anything about the Evangelical Free Church. Before I expose my kids to anything, I do my best to research it and learn about it. I contacted the church to inquire about it’s views on gay, lesbian and transgender people. The person I spoke to whom I guess is the secretary, though I am not sure, directed me to the Pastor. Both individuals were very nice and cordial and I would not describe the interaction as entirely negative. However, when I asked the Pastor about the church’s view on gay, lesbian and transgender people he informed me that they follow the teachings of the bible which state that marriage should occur between a man and a woman. I felt that was a pretty vague answer based on a book which was written by men thousands of years ago. I’m a writer, I know how writing is able to influence people’s views. And the bible is written by men according to how they viewed the events that were taking place at the time that they lived (and yes I realize that is what I am doing with my blog). The pastor continued on to say that the church provides those that are confused about who they are by teaching them the word of god per the bible. And, that there are passages in the bible that state that marriage should ONLY be between a man a woman and this is what is taught to all congregation members. Now, these were not his words exactly and again he was very vague but he lead me to believe that gay and lesbians and transgender, etc, we are simply confused and need to be taught differently so we follow “the right path”. I then asked about the congregation and he avoided answering by stating that he could not speak for his congregation as a whole and could only say that some individuals strongly believe in the word of the bible and others are confused and need guidance in various areas. I was simply inquiring and was not looking for an argument with this Pastor or his church and it is true that he can not speak for his congregation. However, as a Pastor it is part of his job to know his congregation and know what they believe and accept.

I had earlier contacted the coordinator of the home schooling group and had to leave her a message. She returned my call after I spoke to the Pastor. Again, she was very nice but informed me that their group had never encountered this “type of situation” and that she would have to speak to the Pastor in charge of their ministry before approving our application. In the end of the conversation, which by the way left her pretty much speechless, we mutually decided that this group was not a good fit for my family. I thanked her for her time and left it at that.

As I ruminated the conversation I became angry and annoyed. Here I am trying to do what is best for my kids. A school setting is not the best for them. There are too many distractions and there is a lot of room for bullying in there. The bible is thousands of years old and it is still around to influence people in such a huge way that they actually discriminate against individuals for essentially simply being who they are. I believe that people are entitled to their own feelings and opinions but only if this doesn’t affect the lives of others around them. This gets very tricky because of religion and church. I was raised extremely Catholic. I’m condemned to burn in hell because I have tattoos, I smoked cigarettes for 15 years and I drink alcohol occasionally. To top it off I’m a lesbian. That’s the household I grew up in, these WERE my parents beliefs. I know first hand how religion and the bible influence people. When I was old enough I separated myself from that and formed my own beliefs. Do I believe that there is a supreme being that created this world and man? Yes. There has to be something greater and more amazing than us that made this incredible world. At the same time I believe in science and evolution. And I also believe that the bible was written by men as they saw the world around them. Was there something special about these men? Sure, they were brave enough to go out and spread the word of what they believed in. They were also brave enough and smart enough to write down what they believed in. But their world and words of thousands of years ago is not the same world with the same words that we have today. Everything changes and everything has changed. Much like they wanted to be heard, we, the community of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, all of us, we deserve to be heard and to have the same opportunities as all those around us. Education is not something that should be denied to anyone for any reason. One of the things that the group’s coordinator said to me was that they had never been exposed to anything like this “situation” and she did not know how the group members would react. Exposure is what teaches people and practice is what makes us better at things in life. In the beginning it was not easy for me to call Peyton a boy. Sometimes it was hard for me to say his name. We have almost hit the year mark of Peyton “becoming” a boy. Through practicing calling him a boy, saying him and using his name it has become as easy as taking a breath for me to see him as a boy. Exposure is the first step in understanding and acceptance. There is no way discrimination will stop in our world until we all allow ourselves to be exposed to the differences within us that are all around us.

Why did I seek out this group? For the connections that I could build with other parents to learn and teach my kids. And they also take part in some very cool activities that I wanted my kids to be able to experience. Can I do this on my own? I’m sure as hell going to try. My kids are the reason that I do the things I do and their ability to learn and experience life is not something that I am willing to short change them on.

 

 

 

Peyton Teaches Me

Little kids are amazing little beings. Most of the time, we as adults don’t give them a chance. A chance to talk, a chance to participate, a chance to experience or a chance to experiment. Often we think that because they are so little, they are not able to, in a sense, put in their two cents. I was that kind of adult for a while. I don’t think I was always that way. With everyone around, I always tried to be a good listener. But, one day it was as if a switch flipped and I just stopped listening to the kids around me. Peyton made me realize that this was not the way that a good parent should be. I listened to other adults around me, so why not listen to the kids as well?

It’s now been a year since Peyton began talking about wanting to be Peyton. In one hand it’s kind of hard to believe that it has been a year since that started. And in the other hand, it’s as if Peyton has always been Peyton and no one else. Seeing my four year old being so open about making such a huge change in his life to be true to himself made me realize that I wasn’t being true to myself. Nope, I’m not going to become the dad in the house or a transgender person. However, I realized that my surroundings where not exactly what I wanted them to be. Did you know that the average American household has 300,000 items within it? I look around my home and see all the things we have, Lego bricks, Squinkies, Hot Wheels cars, beads, paints, hair pretties… the list is endless. I actually think that we have upwards of 700,000 items in our house, or we had that amount. Seeing Peyton change into who he really is made me realize that I wanted to do the same. As a parent I want to give my kids the world. I don’t ever want them to feel like they want something and they can’t have it. But when does that stop? When do we decide that we are doing more harm then good on so many levels? I’ve slowly realized that this is not the correct way to be. All this time I’ve been so afraid of being who I want to be because of what others will think. I’ve always hated chemicals and medication, processed foods and all of these things that we buy at stores that cause more harm then good. For a while I even convinced myself that all the natural stuff was a bunch of crap that helped nothing, and I began enjoying all these “fake” things. I fell into the consumerism trap and the wanting to keep up with the Jones’s. Where’s the correlation to Peyton or the gay/lesbian transgender community? We try so hard to fit into these molds that society creates and puts out there, and we are so afraid to be who we really are that we forget who we really are. Kind of confusing isn’t it? I grew up thinking that the only way to be was straight, one man, one woman, the end. In high school I “dated” guys. In college I again “dated” guys. Deep down inside I knew I didn’t want to “date” guys, but that was what I thought everyone wanted me to do so I did it. I thought that I was supposed to like boys/men. So that is what I did. It took six months of living in Mexico for me to realize that I liked women and not men. Or not realize, but actually admit it to myself and then come to terms with it. And still I did not fully learn about being true to myself. We as people are condition to take into account what others think. So when it comes to living our lives, most of us go the route that everyone else takes. I hate saying that because I don’t feel like I fit into any mold but it is the truth. In my quest to be like everyone else around me, I accumulated hundreds of thousands of items in my house that I thought were making myself and my kids happy. Then Peyton made his change and I began to realize that we were not happy as a family with all of these things that we kept around us. Not only that but the chemicals and processed things were negatively impacting Peyton and his siblings. Now thanks to Peyton we are becoming more of a “natural” household. We’ve began the process of decluttering and Peyton and the other kids can use their imagination more. We use oils and make soaps and lip balms in an effort to decrease our chemical consumption. My extended family and some friends think I’m a little crazy. I knew that they would think this way and that is why I resisted being myself for so long. In the end, I realized that to be happy I needed to be me. There is a little bit of hippie in this Bronx girl. Now I am much happier and like Peyton I am learning to not see or hear what others think or say. He honestly has no idea about people think about his change and therefore doesn’t care, and I so wish I could be like him in so many aspects of my life. For now I’m gonna become a more natural parent that learns and teaches her kids from the natural elements around us. Who knows what other changes tomorrow will bring. Peyton teaches me to be more carefree with every day that passes. Is there any better way to be?

 

The Bathroom Dilemma

There’s a saying that goes, “every story has two sides.” I’m not sure who came up with that phrase but I do know that it is inaccurate. There are so many sides to each story. Sure, you start out with two sides but those two sides are skewed by our feelings and emotions and then there is the side of the viewer or the bystander. No matter how hard we try, our emotions will always guide the way we think about things. Bare with me as you read this, I will for sure contradict myself but there really isn’t any clear cut answer with the bathroom situation. At least in my mind there isn’t.

I was recently interviewed for a podcast. You can find the link for it below this post.  I was very nervous about it. I’m a writer and not a speaker so there was a lot of anxiety  that I went through until today (now it has aired). At any rate, I decided to be a part of the podcast because Peyton is very important to me and I think that people in the world need to hear the many sides to his story before they judge him or me or any transgender person out there. When I first listened to the podcast I wasn’t sure how I felt. Four different people were interviewed including myself. At first I thought that the point of the podcast was to be something positive for the transgender community. After hearing it I almost felt like it was aiming against the transgender community. I listened to it again and realized something else. The point of it is to offer different points of views about how the bathroom issue affects everyone. I want to thank Dr. Hallowell and his producers for giving me the opportunity to be on the show and allowing my voice to be heard.

Everyone is entitled to their own feelings, thoughts and opinions. And I am a firm believer that the world should be a just and fair place to live in. This is not the way the world currently is but, my hope is that it will get better as my children grow. As a parent I want my child to be able to grow safe and happy. I want that for all of my kids, my friends’ kids and kids out there in general. But my child’s safety and potentially the safety of other children comes into question when we are faced with the bathroom situation. I wish more then anything that we lived in a world where we could all be free to do whatever we want to do without having to be afraid for our own well being. The reality is that this is not the world that we live in and things seem to be progressing for the worse every day. I would love for Peyton to walk into whatever bathroom he chooses and feel comfortable but that will likely not happen for a while.

Come September, Peyton will be entering elementary school. With this come many situations that we have not had to face yet. In speaking with his future school, the plan is to have Peyton use a staff bathroom. I wasn’t sure how to feel about that at first. And remember I am speaking from a mother’s point of view here. I want Peyton to be happy and safe. So no, I don’t want him using the girls bathroom because he is a boy and not a girl. I don’t want him teased by the girls or pushed around by the girls because he doesn’t belong there. But at the same time I think about him going into the boys bathroom where fifth grade boys go into and I am terrified about what could happen. Fifth graders are so mean and Peyton is so small for his age. I honestly don’t want him in the boys bathroom. So the best solution is for him to use a staff bathroom, at least for now this is the best solution. This of course singles him out and lets all the other kids know that Peyton is different. Then everyone will talk, and eventually the whole school will know that Peyton was once a girl. This is something that I don’t want to happen because it in essence makes him a target.

In the podcast you will hear Dr. Hallowell mention that maybe what we need is a transgender male bathroom and a transgender female bathroom. While this is just a passing thought from him, I do not agree with it at all. That is like putting a paper on someone’s back that says “kick me.” It completely draws attention to transgender people and in a sense makes them a target for ridicule or worse. It sort of takes us back to the time when there were “white” and “coloured” bathrooms. Do we really want to go back in time to that unjust period of history? So what is the solution? I don’t have the answer to this question but I do know that places like Target and Kohl’s that have family bathrooms are doing something right. Anyone can essentially go into those bathrooms and use them. They are private and they allow you the freedom to take care of your business without worry.

In a perfect world, everyone would be honest and good. But we don’t live in that world. If I did not have a transgender child I would say that maybe trans people should have to go into the bathroom that they anatomically match. I think of my boys and my little girls and I fear for their safety when someone of the opposite sex could potentially be in that bathroom. Sadly the reality is that someone of the opposite sex is not the only one that could pose a problem. A man could expose himself to my boys in the men’s bathroom just the same as a woman could. The world we live in is tainted by those who have bad intentions. The problem is not transgender people, but those that would pose as transgender to take advantage of whomever is in the bathroom that they are after. So I get why some don’t agree with allowing trans people into the bathroom that they choose to go into.

In the podcast you will hear a lawyer and a child speak, both are adamantly against trans people using the bathroom they identify with. I don’t have any issue with their opinions. I do however have issue with the anger, disdain and disgust that you can hear in some of their words. We should all advocate for what we believe in but we also have to be somewhat open minded about things around us in the world. The world is a big place and instead of reaching an impasse we should work together to come to a resolution  on how to make the world a better place for everyone. “Every story has two sides” does not fit here. There are the feelings of the trans person, the lawyer, the child and then myself the mother. We should all educate ourselves and learn from each other so that together we can figure our where we go from here without anger, without hate, and without hurt.

http://www.distractionpodcast.com/2017/03/20/s2-ep3-being-transgender-bathrooms-balancing-rights/http://www.distractionpodcast.com/2017/03/20/s2-ep3-being-transgender-bathrooms-balancing-rights/http://www.distractionpodcast.com/2017/03/20/s2-ep3-being-transgender-bathrooms-balancing-rights/

Labels

Right or wrong and whether we want them to or not, labels exist and they are everywhere. Early on we are trained to label things. The whole world around us is labeled in one way or another. As toddlers and preschoolers we are taught to group items by size, labeling and categorizing them into big or little for example. When cleaning and organizing the playroom that my kids have, things are grouped into “cars,” “blocks,” “food” and so on. Bins are labelled with words and pictures so that the kids can find where it is that they belong and they learn to put things back into the “correct” place. Some try to organize everything in their lives so that everything fits into its designated area or spot and so that nothing is ever out of place. And this labeling carries over into people.

In school kids are divided into groups of those that need help and those that are on track and those that are ahead. Sometimes these groups are mixed together so that they learn from each other but often times the ones that need help are sent into another room to receive what is deemed as “remedial” help. The ones that are ahead are sometimes used to help the ones that are just on track or they sometimes get to jump ahead. That’s just the way our world seems to work.

In a larger scale we have the poor, the almost extinct middle class, the rich and the millionaires and beyond. Everyone, everywhere always labeled and fit into a category. And this, this insane amount of labeling in a sense blinds us to seeing what else is out there. At times it even says, “Hey! That person does not fit into one of the categories so there must be something wrong with them.” That’s when we shun people or make them into an outcast.

Growing up in a very religious household it was instilled in me that if you drink, smoke, get a tattoo or are gay, you will go straight to hell. No ifs ands or buts. I know firsthand what a burden that is to carry on your shoulders when you are a child. Don’t get me wrong, my parents are the best parents in the world, they love me more then life itself and I feel the same about them. But, that doesn’t mean that there was no room for some improvement there. Being a lesbian woman, and yes I do label myself as a lesbian, I know that it was difficult to grow up in that kind of household. And I know that I don’t want that for Peyton. Yet I find myself trying to figure him out and trying to neatly fit him into a category, labeling him in whatever label I find suits him best. And no, that is not the best way to raise a child and I know that. And I fight with myself when I realize that I am doing this. And I remind myself that he is only four and is trying to figure it all out himself, trying to explore and determine who he is. And I have to let go. For Peyton’s sake I have to let go and let him figure it out even though he is only four.

So where do I as a parent go from here? I read and I research and I try to educate myself and educate others. I learn to accept and I learn to go with the flow. And I follow Peyton’s lead…

Muddy Waters

This journey that Peyton is on is kind of puzzling at times. I’ve never been on this journey as an individual or as a parent so I have no idea what to expect or what comes next. Every time something comes up, I have to figure out a way to deal with it, pretty much on my own.

Since Peyton became Peyton, he has solely wanted to be a boy. He didn’t want anything to do with what he deemed “girly” anything. He would purposely steer away from any feminine items. But in the last few weeks Peyton has decided to branch out a bit. He asks me to put “pretties” (what we call hair ties and decorated bobby pins in our house) in his hair. We have a lot of princess dress up clothing and he asks me to help put some of them on him. I’ve asked him several times if he wants to be a boy or a girl and every time he says he wants to be a boy. I’m not sure if he is experimenting with things to see what he likes better or if he is just playing like his sister does and pretending to be different characters. One of the little boys that comes over to play in our house often puts little dress up dresses on and that is fine with everyone. And I guess Peyton putting on the dresses is okay with me but it really does throw my brain for a loop. When he does this I wonder if he misses being a girl or if he wants to be a girl again. I fight with myself because children should be able to explore the world around them so that they can learn.
And Peyton is still Peyton when he is not pretending with his sister and friends. He only wants to wear boy clothing and shoes and goes to the boys bathroom… But I wonder if there will come a day when he will want to dress as a girl again just to see what that is like. I don’t so much worry about him exploring but about what others will say to him if he does choose to explore… It’s not a very nice world that we live in and I don’t want him to get hurt in any way shape or form.

I guess for now, all that we can do is continue to navigate these muddy waters and maybe someday they will clear up a bit and this journey will be a bit easier to understand.

Strange to Hear…

It’s no secret that we participate in many, many extra curricular activities as a family. Peyton is now fully a boy and this is not the case only in my eyes but, others see it as well.

During the winter we take part in an “open gym” setting type of event for kids ages 3-5. They get to run and play and be wild and stay dry and warm while doing this because it is indoors. During these open gym times it is so strange to me to hear other parents and kids referring to Peyton as a boy. And I know how strange this is since all that Peyton and I want is for him to be accepted as a boy by everyone. Hearing, “Honey go play with that boy over there” just sounds so very strange to me. I’m not sure that Peyton ever hears any of this since he is typically running wild like the other kids but, I hear it. And it sounds strange. Again, I think this is one of those things that my brain is so conditioned to hearing “that little girl” but instead I hear “that little boy” and it makes my brain argue with itself. For three and a half years I heard “that little girl” and now I hear “that little boy.” Just something else to get used to. It’s what I want and what Peyton wants, but it will take a little getting used to.

Misconceptions-1

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?

Vagina=Boy

For a while now I’ve been grappling with Peyton being a boy while I bathe him or change his diaper. At four, he doesn’t quite have the full ability of bathing himself, and he is not fully potty trained. If there is ever a time when my brain is utterly confused by Peyton being a boy, it is during diapering and bathing. It has nothing to do with my acceptance of him but with my brain. We are so conditioned to thinking that a vagina=girl and a penis=boy. This we learn from so very early on. And it stays with us for our entire lives, well, for the most part it does.

It is during these times that I have to consciously think about who Peyton is. He is not that little girl that he once was, instead he is a boy. And while washing him up my brain can’t match his vagina to what he looks like and who he is. He is essentially a boy in the wrong body. This is no longer the case just for him, but also for me. I’m not sure when that changed and I fully realized that he is in the wrong physical body but I have realized it. I wonder if this is how it was for him? I wonder if he suddenly woke up one day and realized how very wrong things were and that he had to fix them… That is an odd realization to make and not one that I knew I had made until writing this. It’s kind of enlightening in a sense. Does that mean that I now fully accept him as a boy and before I only thought I did? Wow, so many questions… I don’t even think that there are any answers here. And now that I’ve realized that he is a boy, do I run off and change his name? Does it mean that I will be so much more open to him taking medication to suppress his body from changing into that of a little girl? Does it mean that in the future I will be more supportive of him when and if he decides to change his physical body? This is kind of crazy. I’m pretty sure my brain has literally flipped a switch from before to now. Maybe he helped that to happen because of the way he talks about himself when he was a girl. It’s like that was a past life and now he is leading a different one…

My Name is NOT Peter

Peyton had been pushing for a name change from very early on. I think the name was something that he wanted changed even before he asked about boy clothing. In the beginning I didn’t notice that this was what he was asking for. He subtly hinted at it by repeating the name over and over for no particular reason. I thought it was because he simply liked a boy at school that has that name. Everything was Peyton this and Peyton that. And I don’t know, maybe he wasn’t really trying to hint at wanting the name change, but not a day went by that the name was not said at least twenty times. Since he has transitioned to a boy, the only time the name Peyton comes out of his mouth is if someone calls him by the wrong name.

He is not called the wrong name very often but it does happen. When this happens he gets sort of angry and corrects the person. His feelings are typically hurt for the rest of the day and he can’t get over having been called something other then his name. This often leads to a discussion between him and I. He is so young that he doesn’t understand that sometimes people make mistakes and get confused with names. His siblings are sassy and call him by his old name once in a while which of course is not okay and we talk about that. In these instances the other kids are reprimanded because what they are doing is wrong.

Peyton is bussed to and from school every day because that is how things work in our town and it makes things easier for me. The kids on the bus are all four year olds and for safety reasons, there is an aide on the bus. Sometimes this aide calls Peyton the wrong name. Instead of calling him Peyton, she calls him Peter. I get it. There are a lot of kids to have to remember their names. I do not at all fault teachers or aides when this happens. I know that there are a lot of kids that they are in charge off. And this woman does not call him Peter on purpose. I can see that it is genuinely a mistake. I’m a parent of multiple kids so my brain often scrolls through all the names before I get to the correct one of the kid that I am addressing. This even happens out loud and the kids know that I do it. It happens and it’s not done purposely or maliciously. Peyton however finds this so very offensive when it happens on the bus. The very first thing he says when he comes off the bus is, “She called me Peter again.” I find it amusing. I know I shouldn’t. I could see how it would be offensive if he was being called by his old female name but being called a different boys name, I don’t get why he gets mad. So we talk about how people sometimes make mistakes and it is not done intentionally to hurt him in any way. How it is not done to be mean. I can see in Peyton’s face that he has no idea what I am talking about. In his eyes the lines are all very pronounced. He is a boy and his name is Peyton and nothing else so everyone should call him Peyton. Comments like this reinforce to me that this is who he is. He sees meaning in the smallest of things (at least to me they are small). So I know, I know that he is a boy and this is not going to change. Not that I want it to but so many people think that this is just a phase…

I’m kind of glad that this happens because it will eventually help Peyton to understand the difference between people discriminating or just being human . I hope he learns that he can let go of the things that mean nothing so that he doesn’t feel so hurt by others all the time. It’s an important lesson for him to learn now. For me as a mom, I just keep thinking of that suicide rate, that 58%… I hope that the lessons he learns now, he can carry throughout life so that he can handle things appropriately.