Amid all the stress leading up to Younger Brother’s surgery—it went well and I am so grateful for everyone who sent supportive words—we had a good family event. My wife changed her name and legal gender: she is now she and her and wife. (She has been going by Mom with the kids for some time.)
I’ve added a note on my About page to help any future readers who might stumble upon my archives. I’m still married to—and very much in love with—the same wonderful person.
It feels wrong to talk about me right now, so I won’t. Instead, let’s talk about you.
You are welcome here.
If you don’t feel right in the gender you were given at birth, you are welcome here.
If you love those of all sexes or those of none, you are welcome here.
If you love many people or just one, you are welcome here.
If you’re not sure who you are, you are welcome here.
If you are scared, or lonely, or just need a space to be you, you are welcome here.
I can’t guarantee that I’ll always say things right, or that you’ll always be interested in what’s going on in my head, or that we’ll always agree, but I can guarantee one thing:
You are welcome here.
A wonderful thing happened on the first day Little Boy spent at daycare: I missed him.
Of course you missed your baby, you might be thinking. Every time you talk about daycare, you talk about how much you’re going to miss him.
What I didn’t realize was how strong that missing would be.
It’s a visceral emotion, this missing. An overwhelming desire to see my Little Boy’s expressions, hear his voice, pick him up and shower him with hugs and kisses. I want to hold him to my heart and feel the solid warmth of him in my arms. When we all got home that first evening, my husband and I were competing for who got to change Little Boy’s diaper. Not who had to, who got to. That’s how much we missed him.
I’m so relieved.
So this is what parental love feels like.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always loved my kid. But as a culture, we present motherhood as a magic, all-consuming love like nothing you’ve ever felt before. In consequence, it’s hard not to feel like there isn’t something just a little bit wrong with you when you want to take breaks from your baby.
It turns out I really, really need that time to be me. Because in the freedom to do my own thing, knowing that my child is safe and happy and having fun without me, I realize just how much he means to me. And I’m reassured that I am, in fact, capable of that kind of emotional connection.