Pebbles of Hope After Election Day

I went to bed last night scared.

I woke up sad and angry and so so confused.

I don’t understand how a country like the United States could so willingly put hatred in the highest political office.

My co-workers are crying. My principal is dressed in all black. One child wailed, “I stayed up so late for nothing!” while another child cried in fear for her family.

I feel powerless. I feel hopeless.

But water drips through stone, and tiny pebbles can cause avalanches.

I’m handing out pebbles today. Tiny fragments of safety for people in the LGBTQIA alphabet. I’ve given one to most of the adults at work.

At the very least, this pebble will show someone that SOMEONE cares.

It’s not much. It’s the tiniest thing.

But it is something that I can do. And for today, that will have to be enough.

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You can get your own pebbles from #I’llgowithyou.

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Feeling Old and Achy

Should I already be starting to fall apart? Physically, I mean. I’m pretty sure I fall apart emotionally on a fairly regular basis.

But should both feet hurt with what I suspect is planter faciitious? Should I be hobbling around with the pain in my feet AND my shoulder being jacked up and having hurt for months even after some physical therapy AND my hands aching to the point I’m scared it’s arthritis? And none of this even mentions the pain in my literal butt that has resulted in me googling things like, “one side of my butt help?”

I’M ONLY THIRTY SEVEN. Somehow I had the assumption that my body wasn’t due to start giving up and throwing in the towel until I hit forty. But here I am. With a ridiculous amounts of body pain, and a terrible tendency to try to diagnose myself on google.

Thirty seven!

When I came home today, I iced my feet, for fuck’s sake.

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“Please don’t call me him.”

dontcallmehim

I was joking around. I teasingly said something about Voldemort to the dog, and didn’t even realize until V looked up at me with those big eyes and firmly said, “Please don’t call me ‘him.'”

I had slipped up without even realizing it. And I got called on it.

About a year ago, then 8 year old Voldemort started playing around with pronouns. Up until then, Voldemort had been “a boy who likes pink,” or a “tomgirl.” And Voldemort would definitely let you know that he/him/his was the correct pronoun, regardless of the pink Hello Kitty shirt that said, “Girls Rule!” that was currently being worn.

Voldemort first flipped to she/her/hers right at the end of summer, and said “I’m a boy who goes by she!”

I went with it. If you think my brain didn’t gibber in terror initially, you are very extremely wrong, but Voldemort asked, so she/her/hers it was. There was a shit ton going on at home with the divorce and V’s dad moving to Alaska, and and if switching pronouns gave her some feeling of control? Let’s do it.

Then, briefly, we switched to they/them/theirs.

I’m not sure of the why of this one, exactly – we had talked about the gender binary and being gender-fluid and how some people use very different pronouns between she and he. I had an easier time with this switch – somehow my brain and tongue didn’t get as tangled on it as it did with she/her/hers – but it didn’t last long.

When Voldemort started tae kwon do at a school that prided itself on respect and using yes ma’am/no sir, and we all got a little confused as to how best to work a kid who went by they/them/theirs into that process (they were totally willing, which was AWESOME, we just..couldn’t figure out what to use), Voldemort switched to she/her/hers there all the time.

And from there, to V’s elementary school – where I met with a ridiculous amount of people, all of us nervous. It’s not like this was our first meeting. I’d always set up a meeting with the teacher prior to school starting, just to go over “my kid doesn’t gender like you and here’s how to not be an asshole about it.” But this was different. This was, in all of our eyes, a huge, giant, scary step to take. Both out of concern for Voldemort herself, and out of concern that we would do it wrong. Because my kid is the first in the school to be public about her place in the LGBTQIA spectrum. Because of course she is.

I won’t lie. It had it’s ups and downs.

For a while, her teacher just..didn’t use any gendered words when talking to or about her. Which I totally get, as I did that quite a bit, too. And there were some questions from other students as to why we were calling Voldemort a “she.” I jumped every time the phone rang, worried it was the school calling to tell me my child was sobbing or was being bullied or had run away from school.

I have to admit I breathed a sigh of relief when the end of the year came.

I was a little better prepared this year – although not for when Voldemort decided she didn’t want to use gendered bathrooms anymore. V started the year as she/her/hers, and other than one comment where Voldemort casually told me that one of her classmates says her family doesn’t like anybody transgender, there haven’t been any major bumps.

I’m not sure why, then, that Voldemort asking me a few weeks ago to talk to her childcare center and tell them to switch pronouns, was one I worried about. I told two people there. Two. The owner and the director. They were surprised (I don’t know why, they’ve had Voldemort since she was THREE), and I cringed in anticipation of what their reaction might be.

Which is how I ended up sitting in my car one day after dropping Voldemort off – flapping my hands and trying not to do more than tear up a little. Because when we had walked in, and I braced myself for whatever was to come next, all we had heard was “Good morning, ladies!” “Hey, alianora, how’s she doing today?” “Are we picking her up after school this week?”

We have been lucky. We have been SO lucky. Voldemort is supported at school, supported at childcare, supported by friends. It’s scary as hell some days, but she blows me away with her ability to self-advocate and her willingness to be so very open about her gender.

Kids are badass. LGBTQIA kids are especially badass.

NaBloPoMo November 2016

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NaBloPoMo: Here We Go Again

It seemed like a good idea when I signed up..last year went pretty well, I think?

NaBloPoMo November 2016

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(Not Quite) A Feminism Friday

Yesterday, the kid thrust a $2 off coupon for Kids Nite Out at the Rec center at me when we were on the way home.

“Can I go?”

As in, that night. In an hour. And we haven’t eaten dinner.. But sure, why not. I looked at the movie options at the local theater, because unexpected nights off can sometimes mean movie nights for mama – if the movie schedule fits when V has to be picked up.

Oh, Deepwater Horizon! That sounds good. And I’ll review the trailers in front, as it is Friday, and it’s fun.

Voldemort packed swimsuit and towel, a handful of quarters, and off we went.

As we’re parking in the lot at the rec center, I hear a sheepish sounding, “Mama? I think I forgot something..”

Shoes. Voldemort forgot to put on SHOES before we left the house.

*facepalm*

I got V signed in, discussed if the family bathroom would be open (V doesnt like using gendered bathrooms and vastly prefers not to), rolled my eyes at the lack of shoes (although attempted to be soothing, as the kid was upset about it) and headed out again to take myself to a movie.

I was pretty excited, I’ll admit. But, standing in the registration line had taken ten minutes, and the movie was due to start in five. And I wanted to see all the trailors. So I was trying to hurry.

Which is, of course, when the railroad crossing lights started to flash and the arm that prevents cars from trying to cross the tracks and end up flattened messes came down.

But..but…the trailers!

Four minutes later, I can finally cross. The movie theater parking lot is full, so it takes me another minute to find a spot to park.

I head in happily, although a little anxious.

“One for Deepwater Horizon, please.”

“Sorry, ma’am. This showing is sold out.”

*sigh*

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