Parenting is an extremely tricky stage of life. As a mother, I often feel like everything I am doing is wrong. You take one step forward and about 10 back. And this seems to go on EVERY, single, day. Kids evolve, we as mothers evolve, and the world and everyone around us evolves. Sometimes our expectation is that everything will stay the same but that’s not reality. As things and people evolve, parenting becomes somewhat more complex. It’s like an infant, we want them to learn to walk only to realize that once they do, all hell breaks loose and we have more chasing around to do. It’s almost difficult to see that there are accomplishments that take place in parenting.
Peyton is a very complex child. Sometimes he can even be difficult because of the comorbid disabilities that he lives with. Currently, we are not even sure what all these disabilities are. Sensory integration disorder, and severe ADHD seem to be most prevalent and what affect his daily life the most. This inquiry into his disabilities means that we must see doctors fairly often. And said doctors tend to use Peyton’s legal name when first addressing him. The latest doctor that we visited addressed Peyton by his legal name. This used to make Peyton very angry and he would scream at the person using the incorrect name. This last time however, he simply said in a sing song voice, “That’s not my name…”. His response was rather cute and the doctor corrected herself and apologized to him. We were able to move on without having to spend time focusing on this. This seems like something unimportant, however, it shows incredible growth in Peyton’s part. Small as it might be, it is an accomplishment.
Since coming out, Peyton developed an extreme hatred for anything girl. For example; the colors pink and purple, books that appear “girly” to him, girl shoes, girl clothing, girl television characters, etc.. Last week Peyton was playing dress up with his sister and instead of being a knight, he decided to put on a dress. He even changed his voice to sound girly and pretended to be feminine. To him, this scenario was incredibly funny. I asked him what was so funny and he stated, “I’m a girl”. Warning bells automatically went off in my head and I wondered if allowing him to explore his masculine side all these years was the wrong thing to do. I waited a while and then asked him if he wanted to be a girl. He laughed and said, “no I’m just tending”. His “tending” means pretending. After watching him a bit longer I realized that Peyton was genuinely happy. Not happy to pretend to be a girl, but happy because he is so incredibly comfortable in his own skin that he has reached an unbelievable level of comfort. He knows that everyone around him accepts him as the boy that he is. He is treated as the boy that he is by all those around him. Because of his age, there are no in-depth questions about his having a vagina, and he has somehow come to terms with the fact that he does not yet have a penis. In that moment it also hit me that I must be doing something right. I have a transgender son and because I made the choice to accept him as he is, he is an incredibly happy and secure little person. If that is not an accomplishment, I don’t know what is.