October 13, 2015

Reality Bites

Today I heard my child say something disturbing.  Although it was said with her best overly-dramatic Valley girl voice, the words hit me like a ton of bricks, illuminating one of my biggest fears.

While talking with T, she told me, "If I had to be a boy I would totally kill myself."

She's 5.

"I would kill myself."

Like I said, she is 5 going on 15 and her flair for melodramatic statements knows no bounds most days but the grim reality of how many trans, gay and lesbian youth who see suicide as a solution stopped me in my tracks.

"Well, good thing you are a girl then," I told her, "Killing yourself is never OK. Mommy, Daddy and your sisters love you way to much to ever live without you."  Then I finished dishing up lunch and sat down to eat with my kiddos.

Before I knew it, we were wrapped up in fighting over who got which color cup and who got to sit next to Mommy and the moment had passed.   However, the haunting feeling I had from knowing too much and reading too much stuck to me.  It hurt like a punch in my guts, leaving me to decide whether I wanted to cry, scream or run-away, none of which are options for a fierce mama raising fierce children.

I've heard different stats relating to transgender youth suicide attempts.  Anywhere between 30 and 50 percent of transgender people will attempt suicide.  HALF.  That's INSANE and a stat that I have a hard time even wrapping my brain around.

Of course the risk decreases with familial and social acceptance, something I hope is in no short supply around here but what about the kids that don't have that.  How can I help them?

Simple, by telling our story.  By making people realize that this is OK.  It's healthy and natural and part of life, part of society. People are people. We are people.  We are a family.  We all breath the same air, sleep each day and wake each morning.  Hopefully in our waking moments we all share, connect, and live.  But more importantly hopefully we all LOVE...like a lot.  That's not saying that I don't spend some of my waking moments thinking that some people are just assholes, plain and simple. That happens too.  (People can be real assholes)  However, I know that when I look back at all my days, the good will overwhelmingly outshine any of the bad.

Because I am "only" one mom. (Notice the quotes...I am a firm believer that mom=super-powered bad-ass some days)  I decided to share an article I read this morning by another gender mom.

She educates and articulately answers questions that parents of gender creative and trans kids get daily.  Education equals power equals understanding equals change.  Real change.  Change that hopefully involves dropping those ugly stats from 50% to less than 1%.

Please read.  Please share, because this is real.  We are real.  She is real and THAT is important to know.


October 8, 2015


I wrote this post back in March. (but never got around to publishing it) Not gonna lie, this spring was tough for us.  The reality of what it meant to parent our transgender or gender fluid daughter hit us like a ton of bricks.  It hit ME like a ton of bricks.  I cried a lot, meditated a lot and distracted myself with booze, yard projects, and netflix.  Perhaps not the healthiest of way of coping but the idea of becoming an advocate, a real source of learning and understanding, scared the crap out of me.

I was tired- tired of worrying that I couldn't do or be enough, tired of explaining ourselves,  tired of defending ourselves and tired of explaining my child.

Then it hit me..I didn't need to do anything.  Our love and individuality can stand on their own and explain themselves. Hopefully being authentic will be enough to do some real change in the world. It's interesting to see even my own transformation while I am on this parenting journey, not only in regards to parenting a trans child but in my approach to parenting in general.  I am realizing that majority of parenting is not knowing what the fuck you are doing.  It's a general state of cluelessness, sprinkled with  "Let's pretend we're real adults" and "I really hope we aren't messing up too badly."

So without further ado, here are my thoughts on Tanna's "coming out."

March 2015

After my post last year on Tanner's gender creativy, I was overwhelmed by positive support and reactions.

Thank you for showing me the world doesn't suck!!

Since then, I have to admit, I've spun down a complete path of parental cluelessness/helplessness. I know that I look like I know what I'm doing. Hell, some of you even compliment me on it, but the truth is that I'm lost. We are lost. 

Tanner is now Tanna. He/him/his is now She/her/hers. With that comes the realization that the pre-conceived notions of gender-normative identification are strongly ingrained in even our most open of minds.

It's a mind warp, trapped in a World Wide Web of scary stats on violence, bigotry and bullying of transgender people.  It's infuriating, confusing and terrifying.    Then there are the YouTube videos of trans success stories which leave me in an emotional puddle of hopeful tears.  (until you read the comments...NEVER read the comments)

It's a blur of research and questions, and answering those questions.

No, we don't force her to be one way over another.

Yes, she really cries when she thinks about being a boy.

No, I can't just "make" her where boy clothes.

Yes, we talk about it.

No, I'm not sure what the next steps are.

Yes, it's real.

No, we're not naive.

Yes, it's hard.

But as hard or confusing or scary it is. It's a million times more EASY.

It's easy to offer my unconditional love. It's easy to watch my child thrive.
It's easy watching my child develop a strong, healthy sense of self and a wonderful self-esteem to accompany that.
It's easy to grow a stronger and stronger bond with our daughters each day. 

True, unconditional love is easy. 

I will love you because of everything you are. I will love you in spite of anything you may do.

I will love you. Simple as that.

So as I struggle with my cluelessness on where to go next, and with my helplessness to protect my family from the ugly part of the world, I find solace in LOVE.

In the love I share with my husband I find strength.

In the love I share with my mom and my sister I find understanding.

In the love I share with my friends I find humor.

I the love I share with my children I find warmth.

Love is a great place to be, a safe place to be.

So I think I'll hide out her in that space of love; wrap myself in it, protect myself with it and then go forward, 
even if I have no clue what the hell I'm doing. 

October 2, 2015

First Day- October 2015

(A wall of mixers with Lake Superior in the background...seriously 😍😍😍)
We need a selfie stick!! 

September 30, 2015

Roaring 20's Party

Last weekend, we threw a birthday party for two of my newest, yet dearest, friends.  Rob and Dave both celebrate turning a new decade this year. What better way to ring it in than with a theme party: Roaring 20's into their 40's!!

My garage was tranformed into a Speakeasy by my wonderful and talented mother, Candy.  It was nothing short of AMAZING!!   We even made a specialty batch of wine, had a photo opp wall and gambling.  Oh, and did I mention there was a secret entrance too?  You had to enter through the phone booth.  Wouldn't want to rouse any suspicion during prohibition right??

I am pretty sure I haven't had this much fun in a LONG time.  Here are the pictures to help inspire you to throw your next Roaring 20's Bash!!


Putting It All Out There

I’ve taken a hiatus from blogging.  Mainly because I am fricken busy and its the first thing to put on the back burner.  But also, I have been thinking about the possible long term effects of putting every last detail about my life out onto the interwebs.

Will my kids like to see this?

Do they want their lives documented?

What age should they start telling their own stories?

All these things circle around in my brain.  Most of the time I fall squarely on the side of “Who cares? Everybody in their generation will be on the internet since birth. No one cares what I post.”

Then other times I think, “What if they don’t like it?  What if they want to be private people and I am taking that choice away from them?”

Do NOT misunderstand…I do not have any irrational fears of being targeted by the illusive “bad guys” of the internet you hear urban legends/dateline news stories about.  My concerns are not rooted in fear but in respect- Respect for the people my children are becoming, respect for them to grow up without of scrutiny strangers (ie. my high school classmates, the guys I used to bartend with, or second cousin of my mom’s aunt…etc*).*You guys are great but I’m not sure my children will care about who I used to drink beer in a field with in the 90’s, how I used to stay up til 3 am after closing the bar and counting our tips, or even know what a second cousin is…or is it first cousin once removed?*

What are we parents supposed to do about this “oversharing?”  My children are a huge portion of my life.  If I want to share my authentic self with the people of the world (or the 3 of you who may read this), how do I do that without including them?  My life is so intertwined with them at this point that if I only share kid-free parts of myself it would only involve the kind of wine I am currently drinking, the latest HULU show I’m obsessed with and what meat and produce is on sale at Super One Foods.  Riveting stuff huh?

My answer  to the question of “Should we put it all out there?” :  I don’t fucking know.  The only thing I can do is follow my gut and let it rip.  (If my kids don’t like it as they age, I can at least show them this post to let them know i thought about it…Right?)

I’ll keep posting, sharing and even revive the good ole blog-a-rooney here. I don’t think our story is necessarily extraordinary but maybe that’s exactly the reason to share it.  Yes, we homeschool, yes we have a transgender child, yes we are hippie souls transplanted in the Northwoods but our experiences are strikingly similar to everyone else out in the world just finding their own way.

Most things I post fall into 3 categories-1) It’s cheeky/ironic/funny/sarcastic and sharing it with the tiny humans in my life doesn’t have the same satisfaction as getting “likes” on Facespace, or Twittergram.2) It’s something I feel passionately about- LGBT Rights, Women’s rights, Peaceful Parenting, world peace…Shit, let’s just classify this as being a good human.  I am passionate about that.3) I think others can relate.  After all, what is the point of social media other than to CONNECT right?  I want to see what other people are doing. I hope others want to see what we are doing and find some camaraderie.  It’s a way to get inspired, find validation and even form friendship that otherwise wouldn’t be possible.  That can be pretty life-changing.

My posts may or may not include my kids. They may or may not be frequent.  Sometimes they will be interesting to you and sometimes not.  Hell, I am not sure which direction they will take.

What they will be is authentic.  I promise to share our shit- the pretty stuff AND the not so pretty.  The victories AND struggles.  The super mom AND the zombie.  My invincibility AND my fears.Because no matter how my kids feel about having their childhoods posted, tagged, or shared, at least they will know and see that it was real, and REAL is a powerful place to start.


March 23, 2015

Happy Birthday

Two of my three children have March birthdays so we've had a busy birthday week. Harriet turned 2 on the 17th and Tanna turned 5 on the 22nd. Just to make things more busy, on the 21st we had a pool party to celebrate them and their two cousins who also have March birthdays. 

I love birthdays and try to make the day special for them without going overboard.

Harriet got woken up with cupcakes and cookies for her 2 year old debut then finished the day with her favorite, meatloaf and mashed potatoes.

Tanna got to go see a movie with me. (Side note: Cinderella is a beautiful movie)  Then we finished off the day with breakfast for supper (Tanna's choice) and cake.

I can't believe how big these kids are getting!!! I love it and hate it at the same time. Here are pictures of our week.
(Doctors appt and vaccines. Not fun but necessary)