So…first let me say the picture above is just a stock photo…this is not Fab and myself.
However, I can say that Fab and I love…no I mean we REALLY LOVE the outdoors. She is my mini-me in this regard. There is something about being out in nature that seems to relax and calm our minds. It is out in the middle of nowhere that we seem to be the most at peace. It is in nature that Fab and I make memories we will remember for the rest of our lives, and I would not trade it for the world.
I have not been writing much the past couple of months mostly because of how busy I have been with my job. I could still find time to write, but that would also mean I would be taking time away from spending it with my family. In the current national climate it is an easy thing to be swept up in the fervor and anger over the current state of affairs. It becomes all the more easier considering my child, and those issues that should be of the utmost concern appear to be at risk, and yet I find myself turning away from the fervor and anger for something different.
Let me be clear, I don’t think most Americans are that bright, and I do think they are easily swayed without truly exploring issues that are in front of them. It is easy to get riled up over this, and I have many friends who can’t seem to escape the funnel of the tornado that currently has them spinning. I was in jeopardy of this, but thankfully managed to step back and get out of it. This, in part, is why I have not been writing as much. I needed to recenter myself, and lately I find myself much happier than I was before, even with the shitstorm that is the Trump presidency.
How, you might ask? First, because I am mostly a Buddhist in my mindset, and so I choose to focus on the present. My kids are still young, and when it comes to Fab she couldn’t care less about what is going on in politics. She knows she is transgender, but that isn’t how she would describe herself, and except for this blog or when educating others, I simply refer to her as my daughter. She is stealth most days, and people have no idea. She is happy most days, and I would have it no other way.
Watching politics, talking politics, living politics can permeate a household, and before long where there was no fear, now a healthy dose of it can come to infect all inhabitants within. The anger and fear will not necessarily change anything outside of the household, but it will definitely lower the spirits of all within. I have the power to influence the mindset and outlook of my children, and I choose to have it be happy and positive, over angry and afraid. I have the benefit of time, as my kids are still young, and I choose to use it.
Outside of work, I have been coaching Fab and her brother in soccer, we spend quite a bit of time doing nature walks, playing board games at home, watching movies, etc. In short, we spend our free time bonding. Fab has no interest in being an advocate, and her mother and I see no reason to be one simply because she was born with the wrong genitalia. If in the future she chooses otherwise then I will support her, but for now she just wants to be a little girl who plays with her brother, goes swimming in the summer, and who gets to spend time outdoors with her dad.
Fab has settled into who she is as a girl. She is finally comfortable in her skin, and she has found her own style and personality as a female. She is more confident than ever before. She doesn’t need to wear a dress everyday, because as she puts it,”Dresses are for fancy things.” She likes her toes painted, but thinks getting her fingernails done “is a waste of time because they just get chipped when you play really hard.” Her hair is finally long enough that she isn’t seeing the little boy anymore.
Why would I add fear into the mix by talking about Trump, executive orders, and all the other nonsense out there? I’m the adult, and so I pay attention, but she should get her childhood. My childhood was pretty carefree, and I feel I owe her a carefree one as much as possible.
Soon enough, there will be doctor appointments, hormone blockers, hormones, and a myriad of other things her pubescent self will have to worry about. For now, she deserves to just be a kid, whose worries are little different from the other kids around her.
School ends next week, and most of the summer she will spend at the pool. She finally got a two-piece skirted bathing suit in bright pink, and she adores it. When not at the pool she will bounce on her trampoline, and play with her brother. There will be visits to family, and she will be adored by grandparents as all grandchildren should be.
Before that, though, she and I will take a trip together alone. It will be our special time, doing our special thing, and she will have all of my attention. It will be our own adventure, just a dad and his daughter, and together we will make memories that hopefully neither of us will ever forget.
It isn’t hard to get where we are at, you just have to be willing to take a step back, and ask yourself if what you are doing that keeps you away from your kids, is what they will remember or is it what you want them to remember? For me, the wake up was my daughter getting excited because “daddy is actually going to go with us. He never does that!” The excitement spoke volumes, and the power I had to bring it about immediately told me I’d be better off making memories with my kids. At this point in our lives, it is the memory-making that brings us happiness, and for now we will continue to dwell in that place. For now, and for the sake of my kids it is the most important thing I could be doing.