Last night I had an interesting experience.
I don’t know about you but, from my experience, two year-olds can be contrary little creatures. Connor one moment will say he doesn’t want his stuffed Angus and the next, when you go to put Angus away, suddenly Angus is his bestest friend and he needs him, needs him or he’ll die!* You’ll offer him something to eat, he’ll turn his nose up at it, and when you eat whatever it was you offered suddenly it is as if you ate the very thing he had desperately wanted all along.
So, last night, when I asked Connor if he was my little boy he replied, “No, daddy, I’m a girl!”
Now, him being contrary like that isn’t new. At times he’s said that he is:
a baby, not a big boy,
a big boy, not a little boy,
not my bubby, he’s mommy’s bubby, and
not a monkey, he’s a dog,
so him saying he’s not X, he’s Y totally fits the usual pattern of him being the stubborn, contrary progeny of his mother and I.
But as he said it I had a momentary flash of, “Well, what if it’s not?” I mean, he’s two but who knows? What if he is a girl, inside? I mean, I support LGBTQ rights so I’m totally supportive of the idea of self-identification when it comes to how an individual defines themselves to the world and that people’s biological sex does not necessarily determine what gender they ultimately identify with. Sure, he’s two and it could just be him being two but what if that moment turned out to be some sort defining instant later in his life on his own path of self-determination? What impact might my usual response of “No, you’re my…” have if this wasn’t just the usual bit of stubborn toddler?
Heavy things to consider in a few heartbeats.
In the end I went with, “Sure, bubs, you’re a girl.” Connor nodded, went back to his ice cream, and nothing more was said on the topic for the rest of the night.
Who knows what the future holds, but, no matter if this was just him being his willful self or something more important, I’d rather him know I love him and have his back no matter what.
*It seems that not even the very young in my family are unfamiliar with drama.