Beach Bound Babe (in, um, April)

The best laid plans…are always a waste of time.  Whether it is one’s thinking about the paths their children may take (ha!) or attempting to control the situation under which your transgender child delves into the world of bathing suits, we can plan all we want, but ultimately it ain’t up to us.

As you know, for the past two weeks or so, I have been hoarding several bathing suits which I have purchased for Jessie.  Knowing that I had them at the ready provided a certain degree of comfort (it is only April) and pride (again, it is only April) but Mother Nature (the bitch), much like her colleague, G-d (see transgender issue above), had a plan of her own and hit us with a near ninety degree day today.  Once the thermometer goes above 72, my kids think it is summer and one of them, I will let you guess which, equates summer with getting wet in the backyard, with or without our blessing.

This brings us to yesterday when I called the house from somewhere out in the real world (a place I seem to visit with less and less regularity these days) and Rich reported that Jessie and our neighbor Talia were in the backyard running through the sprinkler.  “Um, what is she wearing?”  I asked, unsure if I really wanted to know the answer.   “I don’t know – something with peace signs, I think” was his response which was both comforting and infuriating. (Comforting in his ability to be blasé in a situation that has nearly brought me to my knees and infuriating in that he wasn’t also brought to his knees!  Harsh perhaps, but true.)  Well, it turns out she knew all about the bathing suits that had been hiding in what I thought was a quiet corner of my bedroom and had taken the  liberty of tearing through them and deciding what to wear.  (Upon my return home, I noted the tags strewn on the area of the floor between my not-so-secret hiding space and the door.  This served as further proof of her having attacked the bag without any adult supervision.  Anyone who knows Rich will attest to the fact that littering would not be tolerated, even if it was what stood between a hot sweaty Jessie and refreshing water.)

It took me a moment to recall the one-piece, peace sign covered suit  I had purchased in December for her trip to Florida.  No sooner had I gotten it straight in my head than I fretted at the thought of her wearing it without a cover-up of sorts.  I need not have worried since she had taken the shorts that I had so painstakingly matched with tankini tops and pulled them over the suit (she even chose the color that matched the best, atta girl!) and went about her business cavorting in the backyard with the sprinkler on high. (Further proof that Rich had not given an official blessing…)

When I returned home, Jessie was chilling out on the sofa and casually suggested that I return the tankini tops because the one-pieces, together with the shorts, were the perfect combination for her unique situation.  “It holds my penis down”, she said more matter-of-factly than you could imagine.  File under: yet another sentence that I never could have imagined just a few shorts months ago which now sounds ridiculously normal to me.

This morning I went back to Target to return the tankini tops and to do a sweep of any one piece bathing suits that were available in her size.  I found three, one of which is really cute, the other two will suffice.  Upon my return home (along with six other bags with a red bull’s -eye  emblazoned upon them – surely you did not expect me to show restraint twice in a row?!) she immediately began a fashion show with me and Grace as her audience.  Ladies and gentlemen: we have found success!

Note: this is one of the “sufficient” suits, but clearly Jessie feels differently which may explain her otherwise inexplicable Jane Mansfield pose.  I only wish she were more comfortable in her skin. (Also, I do not know why she looks pink, but that I will blame on the fact that my phone doubles as my camera…)

Note 2:  She is wearing this in anticipation of her trip to the beach later this afternoon with Grace and her mother Jane.  Hopefully that trip will go as planned.

25 thoughts on “Beach Bound Babe (in, um, April)

  1. You continue to crack me up like NO OTHER. The first two paragraphs and Rich’s obliviousness are perfection. Perfection. Thank you. After an exhausting day of mothering (damn, it is only 3:40) I needed that!

  2. Love this post! She looks dazzling! Future model, for sure! There was an America’s Next Top Model who is female with male parts. Yup. If Tyra Banks can promote it, so can we! Not that she’s the be all and end all, just sayin’. It’s high time we promote inclusivity. 😀


  3. Very cute story! I really believe that Jessie will make this transition happen for herself and that you and your family will just be supporting observers…and great ones at that…What about making some “gaffes” out of spandex in her size? Better than Duct Tape over the coming years…lol

  4. I just found your blog through What an amazing story you have. Thank you for sharing it with the world. I have twin sons and one loves clothes (he is known to change his outfit multiple times a day…just because) and shoes and accessories (never leaves the house without a watch or hat or sunglasses, etc). I sometimes wonder if this atypical boy behavior means that he is gay or transgender. For now I think it’s still way too early to tell (he is only 4). But I know I will love him unconditionally…gay or straight. Boy or girl.

  5. Found you through Scary Mommy and just absolutely love you and your family! If it makes you feel better about the tearing through the house for the bathing suit thing – I was like that too only one time at probably 6 I decided it was better to run around naked on my aunts front lawn instead of getting my clothes wet. Jessie has a much better thought process when it is hot than I did. 😉

  6. As a Mom to a newly transitioned 7 year old affirmed female, this bathing suit dilemma is exactly what we are going through – today! Much thanks to you and your beautiful daughter to help us navigate the issue!

    • My pleasure! And take comfort in knowing that I was far more fixated and obsessed with this issue that she was…by a LONG shot!

  7. Can I say that I often look at some of my fellow needhamites in awe: Suni Pandya goes into space for 1/2 year. ‘Life is Good’- Jacobs bros. come from our little sleepy town. Jeff Taylor founder of And now, Julie Levinson Ross turning the twists and turns of life into a million dollar comedy which I hope to see one day at my local movie theater. You are impeccably and scathingly brilliant and I imagine that your hidden talents have been stored up for this special time in all our lives. Keep it comin’

  8. I just found your blog through Scarey Mommy and I think that you are a fantastic mom. Your daughter is so lucky to have you. I look forward to reading more! Barbara

  9. If Jessie is looking for other appropriate skirted suits then try Land’s End. The swim bottoms all have fully panties under the skirt or shorts (they are completely attached) that would mimic the one piece effect and you can mix and match the different style tops. The material is very durable and not flimsy. We’ve had several for many seasons. Just an idea! And really cute clothes at (just wait for a sale) 🙂

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