This piece is a contribution from a reader, who wishes to remain anonymous. We have edited for clarity, but the heart and soul of the writing belongs to another. We hope you enjoy this beautiful story about the bond between mother and child.
I have been a mother for over 30 years, and it has been an amazing, life changing experience. I have two wonderful sons, both teachers, both writers, both wonderful human beings; however, my youngest was born as my daughter.
Four years after the birth of our first child, we had another baby, a girl, who was so beautiful, intelligent, and beyond my realm. In 2015, she was incredibly excited as she began college at USC. Then one day, I received an email. It was from my daughter, saying that she has been seeing a therapist at USC for a year and that she is transgender. She said she has struggled with coming to terms with this for the past seven years, and finally felt that she could tell me. As a mother, I knew she was struggling; however, it never occurred to me, nor anyone in our family, that she was transgender. My beautiful girl has since transitioned, and lives as a man.
We are a very close family, but we had absolutely no idea. It was incomprehensible to my oldest son and my husband. As a mother, even though I too struggled to process this enormous life change, I was quick to accept him for who he was and ensure him that I would be there for him unconditionally. I have been by his side every step of the way, from going with him to get his chest surgery, to having his name and gender legally changed, and everything that came in between. It has not been an easy journey, but it has been necessary for my son’s happiness; and therefore, for mine as well.
As mothers, we are first and foremost protective of our children. We will always be there for them and will do everything in our power to support them, in simple times and in difficult times. As of today, in 2019, my son is doing exceptionally well and is truly happy. And isn’t that all we really want, in the end? Never underestimate what a mother does. After all, mothers are secondary. Children are first. A stay-at-home mom versus a working mom is irrelevant. As long as our children are nurtured, loved, and living their best lives, we are doing it right.
My beautiful niece found a poem about a mom saying goodbye to her daughter and hello to her son. I love butterflies, and so, this was even more fitting:
I had a little caterpillar, small, cute and pink. She reminded me so much of you. I loved her and fed her, tended to her needs, but she wanted to change. I had to follow her lead. I loved and supported still wondering why ’til the day my girl said goodbye. You spun your silk all around your shell, you wove your web and said your spell. The inside of your soul shone out, and the real you came about. I was amazed, what else could I think? No longer a shy girl whose heart would sink, but a beautiful butterfly, loud, proud and blue. Sometimes I miss my caterpillar girl, but my butterfly boy fills my heart with joy.https://www.bustle.com/articles/115152-mother-writes-poem-for-her-transgender-daughter-to-help-her-understand-the-change-video
To all the mothers out there who are struggling to embrace who your child IS, find the courage to truly see your beautiful butterfly. Here’s to you and your loving, accepting heart.
You Got This.