This is by far the craziest year I have ever lived. New baby, and moreover new baby with health problems; husband transitioning from male to female; sick dog; a frustrating masters thesis; a frustrating job hunt. And last night I got news that my sister has some serious health problems. We don’t know how serious those problems are yet, as she is waiting for the results from a blood test. The results should come in on Monday.
Fall has descended on Boise in the form of cool, rainy days and brilliant yellow cottonwoods along the river and in the foothill draws. I can never decide what season I like best, fall or spring. I think I just enjoy the feeling of change that accompanies each.
My thoughts are so scattered these days. There is a bag of Reeses in our living room that I really want to dig into right now, but I can’t, because it contains milk products. And probably soy. And since I’m breastfeeding, I have to be careful about Little Guy’s food sensitivities. There is a bag of marshmallows in the cupboard I have been munching on, but really, it’s a sad second to peanut butter and chocolate.
I was reading a post by a transsexual woman who just had SRS (sexual reassignment surgery) today, and it made me think about J and what we will go through when she has the surgery some day. I’ve been thinking a lot about what makes people male and what makes them female. About what it is to be attracted to one thing and not another. It is interesting to me being in the position that I am in. People often talk about sexuality in concrete terms — gay vs. straight. Even the term bisexual has a certain concrete quality about it; a bisexual person is attracted to people of both sexes. It’s a relatively straight-forward definition. Now that J is going by a feminine name and female pronouns, I often find myself wondering — do I see her as female? As male? This has nothing to do with whether or not I support J’s transition. I do. It’s more like me asking myself, “Quick, what is your opinion — male or female?” And then trying to catch myself in an honest response. It’s sort of like looking at Little Guy and trying to see my features vs. J’s features in his face, really. You can see either if you look carefully. With J, and with the transition, I’ve kind of ceased to read meaning into the words ‘male’ and ‘female.’ J is transitioning because those definitions have importance to her, but as she transitions, I find those words increasingly meaningless. As a person who has always been attracted to men, I find that this approach is a little easier for me. I look at J and see J… Not her soul or anything sappy like that. (That kind of language makes me instantly crabby; it’s too grand, and I have a hard time relating to it.) I just see a person I’ve known for a decade who is undergoing some major, if superficial, changes. It makes me tired, knowing that I’m along for the ride in all this, but everything makes me tired these days.
…I am really looking forward to the day when I can begin sleep-training Little Guy. I still get up at night every 2.5 – 3 hours to feed him. At his last doctor appointment I started to bring up the idea of sleep training, but he is still underweight and when the doctor heard he was eating a lot during the night her response was, “Good!” So I didn’t take the question further. But I really, really wanted to. If J has to transition, I wish we could be at the point where she has developed mammaries and could help a little with the night feedings (It is possible! Hormone therapy is pretty effing amazing).
Last night around 2 a.m. I came back to bed after feeding the baby, and J said, just after I had settled in, “I turned the monitor off — Can you turn it back on again?” The monitor was across the room and there was no way I was getting up again before I had to. I refused, and J grumpily got up and turned it back on. When she came back to bed she grabbed the blankets rather roughly and rolled over to her edge of the mattress to sleep. Facing the other way. This morning she made light of the whole thing, because she often rolls away when she is tired, but I’m not really buying her argument that it wasn’t a big deal at the time. Maybe it isn’t a big deal now, but for her, last night, it was. I’m not really concerned about the incident since it truly was a petty squabble. Nonetheless, I’m still a little crabby about it. Particularly because I always make an effort to keep the monitor from interrupting J’s sleep. When it’s really early in the morning and the baby is fussing, trying to convince me that it really is time to get up for the day (still happens occasionally), I generally take the monitor into the hallway with me and lay down on the floor with a pillow and blanket while I wait for Little Guy to go back to sleep. I really wanted to bring this up to J last night, but I didn’t, because it would have just started an argument.
I’m going to sign off now because I’m sick of my own complaints. Time to take the crew on a midday walk.