Is It Thursday Yet?

Tomorrow marks the start of the first full week of school for my kids.  Last week’s Thursday opening was merely a courting of sorts.  It was a time for them to meet their teachers, get reacquainted with the kids they had not seen over the (interminable) summer, revel in the excitement of an advanced grade and, theoretically, anyway, emotionally prepare for the rigors of school.  Despite how irritating it was for this parent, I have to admit to understanding and even appreciating the thought process of the school committee to kick off the year with a weekend right around the bend.

As a rule, I tend to subscribe to the “easing into things” method.  It certainly beats being hurled, thrust, tossed, flung, heaved, pitched or propelled; trust me, I know the difference.  Even though George’s behavior and tendencies were long indicative of a pull toward more female expression, her transition to Jessie was hardly a long, protracted exercise.  At the time, I would have given my left arm for a “Thursday” start, but in hindsight, there was something to be said for her taking the helm of the ship and pushing off the dock without dropping anchor.

Behind the scenes, the true evolution from George to Jessie occurred over the course of a few months.  It was early September when she first told me her “secret” and not until mid December that she went wide with the information.  However, once she “shared” with her teacher at school (at 11 a.m. on a Monday morning…yep, I remember it well) it was mere hours before the barn door flew open and the horses were galloping, albeit gingerly, through the halls of her school.  To the uninformed observer, it must have caused whiplash: Monday she was George and by Wednesday (which happened to be pajama day) she was bedecked in head to toe girl’s pjs and robe, hot off the shelves of Target.  By some miracle, none of the kids seemed to bat an eye nor did a single classmate tease him (no pronouns had changed yet) for his outfit.  No easing into things for her.  Once she had freed herself of the information that she’d been keeping inside for all those years, there was, in her ten-year old mind, no time for pussy footing around.  I would have loved a “Thursday” start but, alas, as the passenger on this adventure, no one asked me.

Likewise, no one asked me what day I would like school to begin.  Had they, I would have said Tuesday, the day after Labor Day which, in my memory, was always the first day of school.  But, having been denied the option  or the Tuesday start, and armed with the knowledge of how “Thursday” went (read: lead quickly into the weekend) I appreciate how nicely it fell into place.  The kids were energized but not overwhelmed, excited but not freaked out, relieved but not “over it.”  It was, actually, a perfect segue to a new year.

Now, with the benefit of nearly a year’s worth of hindsight, I truly appreciate Jessie’s thinking in jumping, feet first, into the unknown waters of living as a girl.  She must have known what would work for her and, as such, went in, never looking back.  She didn’t need a “weekend.”  She was down with starting on a Monday.  She had her energy, excitement and relief in check already and, it seems, did not feel the weight of being overwhelmed, freaked out or, certainly, “over it”.  Impressive, that one is.

As we kick off fifth and twelfth grades, I hope that my kids will have wonderful, meaningful and happy years.  I hope that we will quickly get into a rhythm that works for them (and, um, me) and that there are no other enormous changes in store.  That said, we should all fasten our seatbelts and prepare for all that lays ahead.  Oh, wait, have I learned nothing?  I have absolutely no idea what lays ahead…

15 thoughts on “Is It Thursday Yet?

  1. I find your spot for the back to school photo truly impressive. Both kids, showing off cars, same spot on the driveway….can’t you just look at the mundane? what does transgender have to do with anything? sometimes a photo shoot is just a photo shoot.
    May you have a SILENT week. Love the sound of NOTHING in my house when they are all tucked into their classrooms.

  2. That Jessie’s got style. I like her outfit. For my 10 year old daughter it’s all about hats this year. She has gone to school every day so far looking somewhat like a pimp. I have taken to calling her Huggie Bear (please tell me you understand the reference).

    Question; is Jessie in counseling at all? I can’t imagine that it is easy to find someone qualified for her specific needs, but then again in this day and age her situation is not as uncommon as one might think. My sister got her Masters in Intersexuality and Gender Identity Disorders in Children and Adolescents but cannot find a job in that field. There just doesn’t seem to be many places out there looking for her specific qualifications. It would be a shame if children such as Jessie could not find a professional who understands and isn’t just winging it.

    • I love a mom who let’s her daughter embrace her inner pimp! Jessie is indeed in counseling…I literally could not imagine going this alone! I am sorry to hear that your sister hasn’t found a position yet, but there is certainly a growing need for people with her education. Wishing her the best of luck!

  3. Colleen, My friend just mentioned that she’d gone to her doctor’s office, a g.p., and for the first time she saw the option of checking “crossgender”. The times, they are a-changin’! There may not be practices that feel the need to add someone with her specialized knowledge, but if she opened her own little place and got the word out via kid’s magazines and schools I bet they’d beat her door down.

    • Wow! There’s proof right there that there are more Jessie’s out there than most people realize. Good idea about my sis. There must be plenty of folks there in New Jersey where she is who would check the “crossgender” option and would love to find someone to talk to. Thanks.

  4. The kids pics look great! I tried Sun-In in seventh grade, but to be “safe” I just put it on the middle front section of my face so that I would be “framed with blondish streaks”. I soaked that section, it was bleached out as yellow as a truck stop waitress, and made me look like a skunk with a stripe down the middle. Now that’s where my hair has turned gray. Ugh.

  5. LOVE the pictures – thanks for sharing. My child too (a daughter), is a senior this year and has already applied to a couple colleges. As my youngest, and a girl to boot, I’m feeling nostalgic and saddened already this fall. Like you, I waited impatiently for those yellow school buses to make their arrival each year, but now wonder if I didn’t wish their youth away! It was good to get an image of both your kids…and Jessie is absolutely adorable. All girl (well, almost). 😉

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