A Pleasure To Meet You

Yesterday I got a text from an old (and wonderful) friend that said “can I give someone your number?”  My relationship with the sender is such that I was not concerned, rather curious.  I responded by saying “of course…but why?”  People are often offering my contact information (and implied knowledge I might have) for any number of reasons: a breast cancer diagnosis, an issue with a child’s learning disability, a recommendation for a kick-ass hair stylist or, wait for it…a transgender kid.  I am more than willing to speak with anyone about any of the aforementioned, but I do like to have an inkling as to which hat I am expected to be wearing before the conversation begins.  In this case, it was putting another mom trying to traverse the unchartered transgender parenting waters in touch with me – if only because I am a few (baby) steps ahead of her.

Not long after the original text, my phone rang.  On the other end was my friend who, having received my blessing for initiating contact, decided to skip over the email or text introductions and put us in touch immediately.  Turns out she had just met this other mom while they were “chaperoning” a field trip (while on the phone with me, that is) and talk had turned to transgender parenting.  (Note: when you are the parent of the child who arrives at school presenting as the opposite sex from their prior school years, everyone knows who you are.  As such, when these two met, my old friend already knew who the new friend was…transgender announcements have a way of facilitating the process of identifying oneself.  Go figure.)  I answered the call and, with nary an introduction, was speaking to Joanne who I am quite sure will be a friend in short order.

We are a unique sort, us trans-parents and, as such, need to seek one another out and grasp on – sometimes for dear life.  Our parenting challenges are just like everyone else’s; if you were to put those challenges on steroids, that is.  Sure, some of the crap, er, issues, are ones no one ever thinks of (remember the bathing suit quandary of just a few months ago?) but, they are additional and not replacement worries.  In the few short moments that we were chatting we covered about ten of them…and we were just getting started.  (Aside: we each used the “f” word twice.  Just sayin’.)  With a promise to meet for coffee or wine (doh, wine is definitely preferable) we hung up so that she could resume her chaperoning and I my errands.

Here’s the thing: as much as she was happy and relieved to have been put in touch with me, I was equally, if not more, ecstatic to be put in touch with her.  Yes, I have tremendous support and love.  I have become friendly with several other moms from the PFLAG support group who have provided invaluable empathy and “yep, us, too” moments.  But who doesn’t want more support and more empathy??  I know I do.  So, Joanne, if you are reading this – great to speak with you and let’s keep reminding one another that we’ve got this.  And Jen, love you.

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13 thoughts on “A Pleasure To Meet You

  1. There is something about finding yourself in the “T” camp, which makes the world seem a lonelier place. Finding another who understands because they are there with you is a gift you cherish.

  2. Loved this post.

    By the way, I’m a neighbor of yours and close friend of Ceci K. That’s how I got to be following your blog.

    Rock on!

    Jeff

  3. That’s great that you can share and compare”notes”. And possibly Jessie has a new buddy. All good! You are a great mom!

  4. Welcome Joanne to our club 🙂 Glad you two found each other! I had a similar experience about a month ago. When I first learned (acknowledged?) I had a transgender child, one of the hardest things was not having anyone who had “been there, done that”. Most issues that have come up with my other children (from colic to car accidents) other parents can relate to and even share their experiences, helpful hints that worked for them or just sympathy. And while with trans issues, I can receive a lot of empathy or suggestions to things that come up, it is only a select few who have actually “lived” it and can say “yep, that’s ‘normal’!” – or here’s an idea on how to handle that. I am very thankful for the parents who have done this before me and are there to support us all! While having a child with a relatively unique set of experiences brings its own challenges, I am so glad that it also brings experiences that have been wonderful – like the great group of people who have been so supportive to us: old friends, new friends, caregivers and so on..Julie – you are on the list of wonderful – and I am always grateful to find new people and new friends on this adventure…
    xo Maura

  5. Well, you made me cry….I hope you’re happy :)….because I sure am. The strange, long trip of an internet search led me to you. Maybe Jen psychically led me to you – I don’t know.

    Community is the bedrock we build our lives and finding a home is as powerful as recognizing our children who they are – no matter who they are.

    I am happy to discover intelligent well-written individuals like yourself who are committed to supporting their children as they navigate a challenging and daunting world.

    Thank you Julie Ross

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