Monday, June 6, 2011


This post isn't about music. It's a step back to my beginnings.  I'm an only child.  My Mom very much wanted a daughter, then I came along.  There are lovely home movies of a sweet pretty dark haired woman in a 1950's full skirt and blouse feeding a pretty dark haired child sitting in a high chair.  She smiles at the camera and holds the spoon as she waits for me to open my mouth.  But I'm all eyes for my Daddy who is standing behind an 8mm movie camera capturing all this on film.  There is another scene on the same flickering film reel of our back garden in bright sunshine and my Mom with a basket of washing.  There is a little flight of steps down to the grass bordered by two immense blue hydrangea bushes.  I am crawling and when I get to my Mommy I haul myself up onto my little feet by tugging at her full long skirt.  Once again my Mom smiles so beautifully at the camera.

This is ME!
Later when I was older I remember having to be on my own with my Daddy while Mom made periodic visits to hospital.  Mom had one of the most awful nasties that follow childbirth, post natal depression,  It returned again and again and became a lifelong problem of depressive illness.  I grew close to my Daddy during those difficult times and I know now with hindsight the pain that gave to my Mom.

Josephine was the name Mom told me she had ready for the little girl she had expected.  Robyn was the name I got given because I was actually a little boy.  Was it strange that Mom should choose a name that would do for either sex in the end?

By the time I five and attending kindergarten I had known the heartbreak of seeing my best friend Julie whose dolls I had shared leaving me to play jump rope and double dutch with the other girls on the playground.  By the time I was nine I was playing wistfully in my Mom's room when she was busy, wearing her perfume and makeup, trying her clothes and shoes, hoping against hope that I would somehow grow up to be her or someone like her, a Mom with kids of my own.

I have a memory of being tired on very long journeys and falling asleep on the bench seat of our car with my head in my Mom's lap and feeling her hand stroke my hair.  I felt so secure, my Mom's daughter.

Mom had become so ill that she no longer recognised me by the time I had begun to transition.  I chose to keep the name she had given me, adding Jane as well to remember a much loved Grandma.  I could just as easily have become Josephine.  No doubt I would be Josie by now.  Mum died a few years later and just in time, I was able to say goodbye to her at her funeral as the daughter I had always really been.

1 comment:

  1. that is a really touching story it aide me cry a bit i am shore if your mom was still alive and well that she would really like you for how you are and always was in side