Change Is the Constant

There are Things Happening On the Roof, even at this early hour, and Boxnoggin is utterly beside himself. I can’t decide if he wants to go up the ladder and help, or if he simply doesn’t connect the noise up there to the workers, who he has already throughly vetted. Six of one, half a dozen of the other, I suppose.

It’s Monday. I managed another minor feat of resurrection over the weekend; it’s hard, swimming against the current. I think I’ve my fire back in me now, though, as Ellen Foster says. (I just mentioned that book a few days ago; it’s probably time for a reread.) I really do love and believe in this series. It’s just hard to be the only one, especially when I also have to descend to the depths to wrench bits of it up to the surface. Each diving trip carries a risk.

The weekend was also spent parenting, in one form or another. Of course the job doesn’t stop when one’s own children reach adulthood. But a lot of others seem to be needing it now, too.

It’s kind of baffling. First, your baby goes from a sperm and egg to a zygote, from that to an embryo, from that to a fetus, then is born and becomes an infant. They change rapidly over the next few years, from toddler to child, then the changes lengthen into adolescence. Then you have a young adult on your hands, and if you’ve done your job it’s a functioning adult who still wants to speak to you. The change is constant, and you went through all those stages too.

What I don’t get, what absolutely puzzles the fuck out of me, is how anyone can parent through all that change and then claim they can’t handle their precious, irreplaceable child deciding on a different gender expression. People are change. If you can accept a toddler turning into an elementary-schooler, a kid turning into a teenager, a teenager getting a driver’s license, a teen turning into a young adult, why on earth should you have problem with your child expressing as male, female, nonbinary, or any gradation therein? Your job isn’t to stop a kid from finding their own gender any more than it is to halt a child at the toddler stage, or to keep them artificially dependent on you forever.

Parents who claim to have a problem with their child “changing” are lying, to themselves or to others. I’m not surprised at the number of kids (and adults) cutting off contact with “parents” who want Suzy to remain six or sixteen or female-presenting forever, who get bent out of shape when Tim decides she wants to be Sandra, or Holly decides they want to be Hollister.

One of my daughter’s best friends is transitioning. He shook like a leaf when he came out to us, poor thing; it was obviously terrifying for him. There’s only one thing to say when a child approaches you in that situation.

“Thank you for telling me. I loved you yesterday, I love you today, and if you change again tomorrow I’ll love who you are then too. Want a hug?”

That’s it. That’s all that needs to be said. It’s not a big deal to keep track of pronouns; when you slip up you stop, redo the sentence, and move on. It’s easy to not deadname someone–when you slip up you (surprise, surprise) stop, redo the sentence, and move on.

“But I always wanted a son/daughter, and now I don’t have one!” What, like it’s a fucking Pokemon? Your child is not a box to tick off or a piece of chocolate in an assortment. Grow the fuck up and treat your kid properly.

“But I don’t understaaaaaaand!” Then get to a place where you can at least accept without being a pile of toxic shittery. Do that work on your own, grow the fuck up, and treat your kid with proper kindness.

“But…but…God says it’s wrong!” Then what you’re worshipping is cruelty, not divinity. Find a different fucking god, you sleaze. Grow the fuck up and start acting like you worship something worthy of being called divine.

“But I just don’t think it’s right!” Then get prepared to lose contact with your kid, of whatever age, because what you’re after is control, not love. The harder you tighten your grasp, the more children will slip through your fingers, Tarkin, and if it sounds like I’m saying you’re the baddie, yes, that’s precisely what I’m saying. And also: Grow. The. Fuck. Up.

Living in late-stage capitalism and corporate-fueled climate change is hard enough; don’t make it worse. Your kid expressing their intrinsic self is not a problem. Get over it, get your head straight, and be the parent you’re supposed to be. You can certainly try to force and control and belittle, but the consequence of that is losing the trust and love your beautiful, irreplaceable child wants to give you. Kids want to love their parents, but if you act like an asshole–especially about this–you’re going to make it so difficult to do so they have to back away for their own safety.

Then you will lose your kid, even if you have them physically trapped and dependent, and it will be your own goddamn fault. It’s very simple. You are not here to own your child, you are here to love who they are, yesterday and today and tomorrow, and to help them become a functioning adult. That’s the job, and if you don’t do it, they’ll find another way–and you will have failed at one of the most important things you will ever do.

Period, full stop, the end. I will not be taking questions or listening to any toxic, shitty, abusive talking points. My time is better spent taking care of the kids–of any age–who have decided I’m safe parental material, and repeating the bare honest truth.

I love you. I loved you yesterday, I love you today, and if you change tomorrow, I’ll love who you are then, too.

Want a hug?