It was a beautiful morning breakfast. I helped my Mom prepare the table and the children played with their new toys the Easter Bunny brought them. Later my wife and I hid the Easter Eggs in the front yard for the kids to hunt. My kids are 5 & 6 and my Nephew is also 5 - I took some very precious photos and watched in delight while the children found each egg. They giggled with glee as if they just discovered one for the first time... opening it and spilling the contents on the ground and exclaiming with laughter. Normally these type of family things never interested me - in part because I was so concerned about myself or what others thought or what they MAY be looking at. Not today - Today it was all about the kids and I just felt so much warmth in my heart as they played and laughed... I love being a mommy.
My father and I finally had a heart to heart talk about 2 months ago - At that time I explained to him why hearing my male name hurt me so much. He did not respond to my comments - but he did listen intently as I told him. After my Grandfather died, I think my father really took inventory over his life and I believe God may have helped him to quite some of the noise in his mind - which has in turn helped him to understand and see other things that are more important in life... and maybe too, why he has put us all here: To live, and let live.
During the breakfast dinner, my father did call me Ted... but when he did, you could tell that he didn't mean it... and it was if when he said it, he was trying to real it back in with the same breath. I noticed - we all noticed. I think it set a tone for the whole family too. I didn't allow the "Ted" to bother me or even show indifference to it. I simply allowed it to roll off like rain - and in all honesty, it didn't bother me at all. My heart was over joyed to be with my Mom, Dad and sister all together again - and together, as my REAL self - that's all that mattered to me - not a name. So we went on with breakfast and the morning slipped right by. We left about 11am so my Mom could get ready for her second party of the day: The rest of the family.
Later that evening about 4:30pm, I was on the phone with another TS friend of mine - we just happen to be talking about a letter she received from her father where he laid out a deceleration to her about how much he was NOT cool with her transition - in fact - he wished her dead. Thats when my cell phone rings on the other line - It's my Dad.
Dad: "Hi... its me"
Chloe: "Whats up dad?"
Dad: "I just wanted to call and apologize for calling you Ted at breakfast... ... ... I know that bothers you... it was not intentional... and I hope I didn't hurt your feelings."
Chloe: "Awwww... ... Dad... I..."
Dad: "I just haven't gotten around yet to calling you Chloe... "
Chloe: "I love you... thank you... and its ok... I know you and Mom are..."
Dad: "no... I know it hurts your feelings and I am sorry..."
Chloe: "... ... Thank you"
Dad: "We'll get there, we just need time... ok?"
Chloe: "Ok. I love you Dad."
Dad: "I love you too."
Chloe: "Bye now."
Dad: "Buh bye..."
My Dad has NEVER apologized to me for anything - EVER. This is all my Dad ever needs to say to me... I know he loves me. I know that "Sorry" meant everything it implied... why else would he have gone out of his way to call me and say so... he didn't have to do that.
Well, as my therapist put it, "...sounds like acceptance to me..."
UPDATE: Some after thoughts are about my TS friend who's father sent her a letter filled with venom and spite. Is this a response from the father that says more about his own masculinity being challenged by his son becoming a woman or is this the effect soceity has on us with its peer pressure to be a warrior - So much so that we would rather cut off an arm or erase a child from our lives, than to appear weak or different?
I know what my answer will be when and if some day my son comes to me and tells me he has made a choice for himself - I will support him (As long as its not harmful to him - like doing drugs or illegal). But there is NOTHING that would put distance between me and my sons - LEAST OF ALL what other people thought of him for his choices.