I had a long talk with the boys tonight, just them and me, as Mary Jo’s out of town on horse business. Lane had been saying he was scared that he might not be up to par with the other kids on his new soccer team, so after talking about that fear and how he was likely to do just fine in soccer, I volunteered that one of my fears is that they wouldn’t love me after I transition. Mind you, we haven’t spoken very much — they have had much deeper conversations with Mary Jo. I wasn’t sure if that’s the way they wanted it or if I’m giving off a vibe that says “leave me alone,” or something entirely different.

In any case, I figured this would open up some kind of discussion, and boy, did it. They told me my fears were nonsense because they figured I’ll still be the same and their love will remain the same. We talked about how I’m going to start looking like a woman more and more. We agreed that it was going to be pretty weird for all of us, but that it’s ok to feel weird as long as you know it’s ok to talk about it and ask questions. We made a pact that they can ask anything they want and let me know how they’re feeling any time they want, and in turn, I’ll promise to always be honest and let them know what I’m feeling and doing.

We talked about people like me and how this feeling just gets stronger and stronger as you get older, and really, if you want to be a good parent and spouse and person, you have to face up to it. Ezra looked at my eyes very, very carefully and closely. “I think your blue eyes may be girl eyes because everyone else in the family has normal eyes (meaning brown), but maybe you got part boy and part girl eyes.”

“Good theory,” I said, “but I’m not sure if eyes are a way to tell.”

Lane asked if I would have to get a new driver’s license picture, to which I answered Yes.

I told them that Miles and Khloe, colleagues at the university, had asked me to have a beer with them tomorrow, and that I was going to dress up as a woman, and that it is something I’m going to need to start doing more and more. I said, “You know, I don’t really want to do a lot of girly-girly things in order to become a woman. I’m thinking really of just fixing my hair and wearing some makeup and why don’t we all see how it looks?”

They were intrigued so I asked them if they wanted to watch me get ready tomorrow and see that it’s really just a matter of a wig and a few bits of makeup, and that I’m fundamentally the same person. Yes, they said, that would be really neat. They were very interested in seeing the transformation, so I said, “OK, then I’ll call them and I’ll tell them I can go out as a woman tomorrow.”

We sat on the couch and hugged and talked for a very long time, and it felt absolutely wonderful to be loved and accepted by my children. So tomorrow afternoon, we’ll continue making Joyce a real family member and we’ll see how it goes.

I’m feeling less and less apprehensive about my sister and uncle, maybe because I’m feeling more confident of myself and maybe because I’m feeling so supported by Mary Jo and the boys and my friends that I am beginning to imagine that I can weather anything. In fact, I’m really excited these days–I feel incredibly blessed, which is a real 180-degree change from feeling incredibly cursed a year ago. Isn’t it odd to be feeling so powerful and empowered at a moment when everything should be in complete turmoil?