butterfly

Becoming Who You Are

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cocoons
Cocoons are for caterpillars while they are becoming butterflies.

We spend our whole lives becoming something different than what we were when we started. It’s all about what we become. We begin as children and we become teens and then adults. Not done yet, we eventually become middle-aged and elders. When we leave that progression, we become a memory. We begin as a single person and may become married. In some cases, we may then become single again or divorced.

cocoons and butterflies
While most cocoons shelter those who are becoming, there are two butterflies among them who have finished their transformation!

We are novices at our craft and then become experts. We may become lonely or become joyful. The possibilities are endless. For our whole lives we are on a path of becoming something different. We never question that. Of course, we’re not static; of course we’re changing! That’s the way it is, right?

cocoons and butterfly
Some changes are hard and seem to leave the butterfly tired and trying to find new footing.

What happens when someone becomes something unexpected? Do we still congratulate them? Yes, we do. My youngest child, a girl, left home a few years ago to go to college about 45 minutes away. During that commute across town, she changed her name and soon, her pronouns. My daughter became my son.

butterfly
She looks so happy to spread her wings!

We’ve had lunch every week during that time, and I’ve seen the changes. After many conversations the years preceding his name change, it was not a surprise to hear his decision. It was nonetheless a bit of a shock. We moved quickly through that as I understand that it isn’t my job to approve or disapprove, but to love and support. There is nothing more for me to do but help him become what feels right for him.

butterfly
How does such a small body support such large dreams – I mean wings?

I have seen him become happier, more outgoing, and more confidant. He used to be painfully shy, but now he is more socially adept. He has found friends to hang out with and acceptance at his school. He navigated through a few difficult situations rather maturely; it makes me proud.

butterfly

Back when he was a toddler girl, it was obvious that she didn’t approach things the same way as my other daughters. We all rolled with it; how could we not? As she grew older, the different outlook was more pronounced, and she seemed a bit surprised and confused about the boy-crazy girls she knew in school. Her father and I tried to provide some of the social support she needed while she figured things out. Honestly, we expected her to turn out to be a butch lesbian, but she had a surprise in mind. So, another son it is!

butterfly

For all of you who are in the process of becoming, I applaud your efforts. Some things take a long time and others take less, but they should all be meaningful. I hope that whatever you are becoming, it makes you happy. Be authentic and fly your true colors.  

butterfly
All finished with his transformation, this butterfly is enjoying his best life!

40 comments

  1. This is a beautiful post. Your son is very lucky to have you as parents. I wish everyone could love unconditionally. People are born who they are meant to be, their own individuals but society has taught us to shape and shape. So happy to hear he’s happier 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve had that discussion with my brother-in-law. He thinks that I am responsible for my kids, even as they are adults. I must “shape” them to be good people, which has a rather religious definition of “good people.” I thought that i was to shape their values only, not who they are. (Shrug) I’ll parent the way that feels right for me. He can do whatever he wants.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I applaud you for accepting your child to be who he was meant to be. It could be a negative situation for your entire family but you have opened your hearts & minds to allow your child to be happy. A man I went to college with was changing into a woman the entire time I knew him. Before experiencing this with someone I called a friend, I was judgmental towards this weirdness. Not only did I get my education, but I left with a compassion & understanding I never thought I would have. I watch Ellen everyday & the stories of people who are finding out who they are is so inspirational. I’m heterosexual, but my eyes are open and accepting to anyone who need to find their own path of happiness. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is really a lovely reflection, and I was struck by this phrase: “For all of you who are in the process of becoming…” and I thought, isn’t that true of us all?

    It takes courage to be who you truly are. Thank you for sharing something so deeply personal. Godspeed to you, your son, and your family (including all wildlife!)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you. Yes, we are all becoming something as we progress in our journey. I respect how difficult and public his transformation is. He can’t even fake being like most other people, but he feels the need to be authentic. I think that’s healthy, but often difficult, for us all.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Wow!! What a powerful & loving tribute to your Son who started a girl but followed his path to Fulfillment. I applaud you Karel & your family for accepting & assisting your son become who he was meant to be. I have known 2 Transgendered people & they were lovely people. I wish only the best for your Son & for you & your entire family. Thank you for sharing something so personal. You are a *star*!
    {{{hugs}}} Sherri-Ellen & **purrsss** BellaDharma

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s hard to share the personal stuff, but I had his permission and I think it’s important for people to know that transgender people aren’t “weird” but normal people who feel differently about themselves -from the beginning.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. What a great story and I was pleased to read you and your husband supported her while she became a him. Such an important process is to be applauded and supported as, boy or girl, your children are your children whatever sexual orientation they chose for themselves.

    It took me all of 56 years to become Me and behave/live as I always felt inclined but was ‘hammered’ out of me by my parents (well, mainly my Mother).

    The most important thing in most lives is to be happy and live your life the way you wish. Introvert, extravert, conservative, eccentric. Whatever you were meant to be. The most important and satisfying career is the one you chose yourself, not what your parents or other relatives chose for you.

    You post is a timely reminder of all that.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. So interesting to read this from your perspective. It sounds like your son knows his mind and you’ve done a good job of supporting him along the way. We all change, just maybe not so dramatically– but the process is the same and worthy of reflection. Wonderful post

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you. It seems like an odd choice for a person until you realize that the choice is to be a sham or to be authentic. We always choose being who you really are rather than what people expect. So that mindset probably helped.

      Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you. Suicide is prevalent in the trans community, and we were determined that our child wasn’t going to be a statistic. Family acceptance has a huge impact. Besides, we love our son, and we’re glad to see him happy!

      Liked by 4 people

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