My poor child. I’ve blogged about this before. It’s always a subject on my heart. I am a mother of seven. A big blended family. I had three children with my ex-husband, and three with my current husband, and my current husband had a daughter from his previous relationship. My oldest and my youngest are 20 years apart. Talk about a spread I know. Well all my kids went through kid things. Sports, broken arms, dating, getting off of the pacifier, learning to share, their first fight at school, learning to drive, etc. But my middle daughter has dealt with so much more.
Being a kid is not always easy but it shouldn’t be heartbreakingly hard. From about the age of 3, she was very independent in her thoughts, opinions and behavior. She wanted her hair short. She refused to wear skirts or dresses, and didn’t want to play dolls, she wanted to climb trees and ride dirt bikes. By five she was playing sports. By 11 she was a MAJOR lacrosse player. By 12 she was playing competitive softball, and was the team pitcher. She isn’t petite, but isn’t overweight. She has a healthy ‘athletic’ build. I have blogged about the term tomboy and how it makes me crazy. I don’t think gender should matter when it comes to hair, clothes, sports, music, extra curricular activities, or school. School has been a nightmare. She is called lesbo, gay, gender confused, lost, penis lacker, penis wanter…… I could go on. She brushes it off well and has the best attitude about it, but she is 13, I know it hurts her. I know she thinks about it. I have lost my shit on the school, and the parents of these kids more than once. The last time threatening to file charges. My daughter (thank God) has a really good friend, that like her wears her hair short, plays softball, (as a catcher no less) doesn’t ‘hang’ with girls but doesn’t hang with boys either. I watch them hang out and laugh and pitch and catch to each other and wonder what they talk about with each other. I’m so thankful for their friendship. I have always since she was little showed her articles and pictures and told her stories about women snowboarders and women athletes, and amazing women who didn’t ‘fit in’ when they were younger. I showed them where they are now. That each day as she gets older will get easier. It just breaks my heart for the childhood she SHOULD have been having all this time. I had a parent that asked me when I asked her to talk to her son about the words he chooses to use when speaking to my daughter tell me, “that this wouldn’t be so hard on her and you if YOU (meaning me) hadn’t pushed her “in this direction”…..” OMG I almost went to jail that day. How the fuck do you push your child to do or be anything but their absolute best? My response was, “Oh I am understanding now. I see how your son knows to say such unkind and hateful abusive comments, he had you PUSH him to that!” I walked away. It took everything in me to just walk away. I wanted to scream and jump on her and just let my rage of the last 8 years explode from my fist to her stuck up, yuppy ass, judging, pristine red lipstick mouth.
I took her after school that day out to eat, loving the time with her but fearing the conversation I knew we needed (yet-fucking-again), and the waitress walks up and asks if she can get me a drink, I reply I’ll have an ice tea. My daughter is looking at the choices on the menu and this waitress says, “And for you little guy?”
First of all she isn’t little she’s 11.
Second It wasn’t the day.
My daughter didn’t skip a beat, she just replied, “I would like a strawberry lemonade”. The waitress walked away and I said, “I’ll be right back I need to use the restroom.
Around the corner I saw the waitress standing at the computer putting in our order and a waive over came me. I was flooded with 8 years of emotion and the fucking mom at the school.
I walked up to her and said, “Can I ask you a favor?”
She replied, “Sure, what can I get or change for you?”
I just lost it. I started crying. Her manager walked up and I just said, “I need to ask you to just ask kids, children, adults whatever, what they would like to eat or drink….. I said you just asked my DAUGHTER what she wanted to drink and called her a little guy. She is a girl, and we came her after a kid at her school called her a lesbo today. I just want you to know as a heartbroken mom, that there are people like you that can innocently break a child. Please don’t assume the gender of a child based on their hair length or if they are wearing a baseball cap.” I dried my eyes and walked to the bathroom. It was so hard to get my shit together so my daughter didn’t see me with tears.
The only saving grace lately is her softball team. By 16, (she plays with older girls because she’s that good, she’s only 13) girls are serious about softball and most softball players (and kids by 16) are more into themselves or their sport and wanting to win that they don’t care about others hair or whatever…. She’s a great pitcher so her team loves her. The girls are a great GROUP of friends. And her best friend is on the team this year too, (the catcher I told you about). I have prayed for 8 years for this. These relationships.
Well last night my daughters phone rings and its one of the girls on the team said her mom said this weekend her mom said she could have a ‘team sleepover’ and wanted to know if she would come. She quickly said YES! My daughter then asked how many other girls are coming? The girl replied I don’t know yet, because I asked you first, I want you to be there for sure. You guys. I saw it. Maybe for the first time since she was five, but I saw her when talking to another child, (well teen) smile.