Over the last few years, I’ve witnessed my son’s redefinition, i f you will. The physical changes are, of course, evident: The female curves and form are absent, replaced by leaner hips, broad back and defined arms. The softly rounded face has been replaced by an angular bearded jawline. His long curls shorn into a masculine style.
But it isn’t merely his physical presentation that has evolved. This individual’s being feels evolved to me as well. He is much more thoughtful and careful in his words and actions. His future is being retooled and planned. He is consciously considering, ever present and mindful. The courage I now understand this took- the risks he has faced- I am really in awe of my son’s transition!
I feel privileged that he generously has brought me along by his side! Hell, I managed not to screw up our relationship- like so many parents faced with a child’s transition, I didn’t know what to do. Where to begin. I wasn’t elegant nor eloquent in my initial reactions. I have been blessed that my child allowed me my discomfort. My pain. My huge learning curve.
So, in retrospect, I am thinking about a “To Do” list. When faced with such news, what SHOULD parents do in order to maintain these precious relationships and foster their child’s positive transition? After reflecting on my own journey and having watched others parents in similar circumstances, here’s a rudimentary consideration:
* EMBRACE YOUR CHILD! Whether literally or through sentiment, make CERTAIN your child knows they are loved unconditionally!
* REMIND YOURSELF: Someday it will not be this scary! There WILL be resolution!
* TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF! Find allies, parent groups. Reach out. Read. Inform yourself. Know you are not alone!
*FOCUS ON THE POSITIVE! Your child is ALIVE! THEY ARE HEALTHY! They are on a path to happiness! They DESERVE to be LOVED and SUPPORTED and you have the ability to give them that critical love and support!
*STAY CONNECTED! Even if your child doesn’t seek you out often or at all, offer your emotional support. Check in. ASK! LISTEN! HEAR!
* CONTINUE! You care enough to be reading this now- you are on your way-
YOU’VE GOT THIS!