Do you see me? Through her actions, my daughter screamed at me every day to see her. In her world, she was just living her life. But for me, societal and religious norms had shaped my mind as a little child and in my adulthood her truth was hidden from me for a time. “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6) I was trained, indoctrinated in the Southern Baptist Church. But, I had to depart from it. I had to open my mind or lose my daughter to depression and conceivably suicide. Thankfully, life experiences had already begun to expand my way of thinking.
My daughter was born with a female mind and spirit that did not equate with her male sex organs. I already had the experience of preparing for a girl. I was ecstatic to have what I thought would be the *boy* experience. I painted her room cobalt blue, hung clings of Bob the Builder on her wall and dressed her in overalls, flannel shirts and John Deere ball caps. We even named her after her Dad; she would be the second of her name with the suffix of junior.
It became clear around three years-old that mine and her father’s expectations of what a boy, particularly one raised in the South, should be clashed with her spirit in a full blown, head on storm. Her father was static, but I became malleable to her spirit. I still hope that in time her father will come to see that she went from a kid with a dark shadow over her head to one that is thriving today—joyful and hopeful for her future!
Little by little I began to understand that I had a daughter, that I didn’t lose a son, but I was handed a daughter in the delivery room. I believed her, that she was trapped in a male body. She has been and will always be my daughter. I see her! I see her courageous, sassy, optimistic, independent womanhood. I embrace her! I love her!
True love is holding nothing back. It is love without condition. I had to let go of my expectations and embrace her for who she is deep within. I allowed myself to soak her up, to understand her, to allow her to give to me. Conversely, she has allowed me to give to her. We understand each other, deepening our connection and love which I didn’t think was possible. I loved her so much already.
Someone wise told me that we have to allow others to affect us.
Within these pages it is my hope that you would glean the many ways my daughter has taught me to embrace her, to see her, to accept her for who she was born to be; that you may see others you come into contact within your life. Many blessings to you!
For the purpose of this writing on my blog, my daughter has asked that her true name not be identified at this time; therefore, when I refer to her before my enlightenment, the name Izzy as a masculine name is used. When I refer to her after my enlightenment, the name Rose as a feminine name is used.