Jeremy reckons that you need at least four hugs per day to prosper. On Mondays I need considerably more. I remember reading a story about Yul Brynner talking about the early days of parenthood with one of his adopted children, holding her skin to skin in a hammock, rocking her to calm her. At 14, a pearl of wisdom imparted to my dad was that teens needed hugs every day or else they would warp, my dad is the best hugger in the world.
For a child the power of a simple hug can be enough to turn the tide of dark thoughts. It is a tangible sign that your child is worth your undivided attention. It is a brief but powerful reminder that once they were always in your embrace and even though their hand is no longer little and clings constantly to yours, your love hasn’t changed. To my mind a hug is parenting at its most powerful.
Jeremy is speeding towards 18.
Recently J underwent his second psych assessment and was told by the psychiatrist that they will provide Jeremy with the diagnosis he needs to access his cross hormone treatment. His blood tests will be completed in February so he will be prepared.
His 18th birthday will be a D-Day for me, scripts for cross hormone treatment will suddenly become reality, his journey will take an irreversible step. Well not totally irreversible but still, when your life has revolved around binders, packers, boys clothes, it is very easy to convince yourself that despite the stats, despite all your support, maybe your support won’t be needed, maybe this journey will end, maybe your baby will realise the dreams you had instead the dreams they have. It’s a new kind of mourning.
Time has been a double edged sword. The two years on this path has given us space to seek counsel, adapt, educate. It has also given me time to think. My marriage was characterised by constant movement, posting to posting, moving from state to state, the constant negotiating with schools, day care arrangements, employers, managing my husband’s absences long and short. Our decisions were made on the run about so many things. So two years to spend time exploring Jeremy in a new gender is a luxury of sorts.
It has been a revelation to a decision making process to have time to review and assess, to change a mindset, to influence others. But here we are, a date that seemed so far away at the start of 2013 is now staring us down a barrel.
So we are looking yet again at some level of transformation. I am pretty sure the requested four hugs per day will go a long way to keeping our sanity.