Scene: upstairs in our bedroom on a Sunday night after the boys have finished their baths, but aren’t really heading off to bed yet. We are lounging on our bed, the kids and Mary Jo and myself, talking about nothing in particular. It’s a warm family scene. We’re comfortable in each other’s company, lying on the bed, hugging, and just talking about family and school things.

Lane, the older one at 11, looks over and sees my wigs (which we’ll probably use forever until and unless the hair transplants work, but that’s an entirely separate thread). “Hey,” he says, enthusiastically, “can I try on Dad’s wig?”

“Sure,” we say simultaneously.

He takes it off the wig form, folds it inside out to see which is the front and which is the back, then tries to put it on. Mary Jo jumps up to help, pulling it into place. Lane looks at himself in the mirror and everyone gasps, partly in feigned excitement, and partly in recognition of just how much a little hair changes one’s image. Lane is obviously impressed and immediately begins prancing around like a girl. “Let me try on the other one,” he asks.

Mary Jo puts on the first one and helps him with the second one, a shorter one with highlights. Mary Jo looks like a member of a band and Lane looks almost like himself, except with really well-coiffed hair.

Ezra, 9, is watching all of this and enjoying it until Lane says, “Hey, you need to try on one of dad’s wigs.”

“I don’t want to,” he says.

“It’s only dad’s girl hair,” says Lane, matter-of-factly and slightly exasperated that Ezra doesn’t seem to grasp this fact.

“I know,” he says. “I just don’t want to.”

“No one has to do it,” I say, “not unless they want to.”

Off they come and back onto the wig forms, a non-event, honestly, but I felt wonderful about the whole thing. I have been thinking that the boys were completely in denial about everything, and yet here they were speaking as if dad’s girl hair was a matter of public record.

We have talked about my need to go “all the way,” and I’m pretty sure they understand that phrase to mean to be living full-time as a female. We’re going slowly, and there will doubtless be huge bumps in the road, but if the kids recognize that it’s still me, the parent who can play after bath time, help with homework, and love them unconditionally, and they know that it’s just medicine that’s making me female, along with a wig that anyone can wear, and makeup that anyone can put on, I’m starting to feel very confident about my home life.