Remembering gratitude

(Last post transferred from initial opensalon blogging site)

I have to admit, I had gotten pretty discouraged with blogging. It was easy to get busy with holiday madness, for one thing. But I also have been feeling that lots of folks are blogging now about the topic of the artificial construction of gender in our society and how it can be hurtful. Blogs and Web sites abound about pink boys, transgender kids, and they ways we parents struggle to provide more space for our kids to be who they are. Lots of those folks are much more visible; what do I have to add?

However, I realize that it’s not about being the star; it’s about being part of the movement. I’m very encouraged at the growing presence and momentum of this discussion. Also, at various end-of-year events people came up to me and told me how much they have appreciated reading my blog. Apparently lots of folks have been discouraged from commenting because of the need to register with Open Salon first.

So, I’m jumping back in with renewed energy, and I’m also setting up a WordPress site, which I’ll transfer over to shortly. I hope folks will find it easier to comment there.

It’s easy for me to get focused on the negative — protective anger at comments made to my son, frustration with the effort required to educate, enlighten, and carve out supportive space. So I’ve been working on really noticing all the wonderful people and positive experiences in our lives.

Here, then, are some things, people, and moments I’m particularly grateful for right now:

  • Grandparents and other relatives who made a point of getting Christmas gifts that support the whole personalities of our kids. My son’s favorite gifts were his sewing machine, his fashion studio play set, and his WALL-E robot. My daughter’s favorite gifts were her new blue church shoes, her “blue lady” doll, and her Lightning McQueen car.
  • A church where my son can wear a dress — not without questions, confusion as to why I have two girls with me today, or odd looks, but still!
  • Every person who calls my son by the name he prefers.
  • The moment when, at a playdate, an older boy pulled his mother aside and whispered, “I want to wear dresses like he does.”
  • Every parent making an effort to find a wider range of clothes for their kids (and especially feeling like I inspired a few to do so)!
  • My partner — our son has NO idea how lucky he is to have a dad as accepting and affectionate as he does. I had no idea, either, just how difficult it is for most men to support sons who want to express a wider range of masculinity than our culture condones.

Thank you! I hope before long I’ll be writing about how grateful I am for our kids’ supportive teachers, too! (But I’ll save my being a nervous wreck about the prospect of kindergarten this fall for another post.)

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