Well…. What is a dad?
Its the one label Jane has been happy keeping…. she is no longer a boyfriend…a brother…. and the thought of throwing ‘son’ away I think was one of the reasons transition didn’t come earlier.
But her two children still call her dad. The small boy flits from Dad to Jane and back depending on company…I think becuase I always call her Jane now. The large girl calls her dad…but then she’s also the only person still to get away with ‘he’ and ‘him’.
Jane justifies it by saying dad is a role. Its two I guess traditionally…the biological and the social. Dad is not only the provider of sperm but the person who does the male to male bonding stuff with his son… the football on the lawn…. washing the car together….cricket…..trips to the barbers, he’s often the bringer of discipline in a home and in many cases the provider as opposed to the nurturer. (and yes I’m being very traditional about it).
But then Jane has never done alot of the male bonding stuff…. she does and always has done heaps and heaps of stuff with the boy. But much of the traditional male input he gets comes from elsewhere…. the sound of power tools …. the sniff of a bonfire…. the kicking a football or kicking back on the river bank with the boys and a their beer (elderflower cordial in the small boys case) are all things that have him running next door to our neighbor.
Hacking down nettles on a wasteground fox hunt…. learning to throw properly….icky stuff like putting worms on hooks…. farting when he gets his finger pulled…. are all boyish pleasures I’m capable of getting down and dirty with.
I don’t think he’s losing out on anything other than a traditional stereotype by having a trans woman for a dad.
But next Sunday is fathers day… a commercial festival I don’t hold much truck with but Jane is a sucker for a commercial festival and she’s been pondering on the thought of alternative fathers day cards for those in the LGBT community.
Pondering long and hard.
Small boy however cuts through the mire today becuase I was straight forward enough to ask him…
“should Jane get anything for father’s day”?
“Because she’s a girl”
So I double checked and asked “what about mothers day”?
….and it appears we’ll both get something come Mothers Day.
I’d say thats a small boy finding simple consistancy in his world. (or else a small boy thwarting a case of Jane having her cake and eating it) 🙂
Jane however found this worrying…. for the first time ever she seemed to give some thought to the concept that our son may be letting go of his dad. I think its a concept she’s held at bay with a complicated adult fiction far beyond the ken of a 6 year old whose world view isn’t quite so set in stone.
She’ll always be dad – the provider of sperm
but I think in time Dad will fade away as a label and a name.