Thursday, September 13, 2012
On my daughter's 18th
Being a Trans Mom, I always wonder if I'm adequate, if I really have been the supportive Mom that I so needed when I was a child and so wanted to give my daughter. That's so hard to answer. Maybe I will only know as the years pass....
As I write this at 11.42 pm my daughter Beth is almost 18. Just 18 minutes to go and she'll be 18 and an adult. Beth is still very much my daughter and still a child at heart. Of my two daughter's she's the one who has kept the closest and never really wanted to grow up. I have seen so much change in her in the past 6 months. I've seen her struggling with illness and feelings, relationships and the loss of her grandfather. I'm so hoping that the coming year will mean something a little more stable and reassuring for her.
I remember when I was young knowing for sure that Mom and Dad would always keep me safe, that they wouldn't let anything happen to me and that they would protect me whatever. As I grew into what passed for adulthood I began to realise that they were as powerless to hold back the evils and the horrors of the world as I was. For a transgendered kid growing up it was a hard awakening, a right of passage into a very daunting and difficult place. It occurs to me now that it's much the same whoever you are, gender identity issues or no.
As an adult and a Mom I've possibly got more reach, influence and power than either of my parents had. I've used it as far as I could to give my daughter shelter and nurture and time to grow. Part of the pain of letting go for a Mom is realising that your baby has got to adulthood and yet she still has a lot more growing to do. My ability to protect and shelter her now now is far less potent; it had power and magic over childhood dangers but it doesn't work so well against the harsh realities of the adult world. My daughter is on the cusp of pitting her own resources and power against it all and like any Mom I wonder and ponder whether it will be enough.
There is no answer to that question. She has to muddle through somehow and I have to trust that she can do it..... Scared Mom beginning to let go and set her free :)
I've planned a weekend trip to one of her favourite places; West Flanders. A voyage on board a little ship mirroring her own. A horse drawn carriage ride over cobbled streets, a bit bumpy no doubt but a great ride hopefully; a bit like the best we can hope from life. I hope there'll be sunshine and happiness just like I wish for her in her future life.
I'll be away from Wifi over the weekend probably but I"ll tell you all about it all when I come back. Life is for living but it's also a great tale for telling if you adventure enough....