So last Wednesday after a long day, I picked up messages to learn that Anneke had not been accepted to the Hockey Academy High School s/he had applied to. My heart sank. She had all the pieces: a good report card, a glowing letter from her coach, a long career of dedicated hockey experience...it didn't make sense. I knew s/he would be disappointed, possibly crushed at this news.
By the time I picked up the message s/he was in bed. The next day, was to be our Olympic day together, going to the Women's Bronze medal game of the Olympic Games...a day to inspire hockey dreams, not crush them. I couldn't bear to tell her that day. Friday I worked late and s/he babysat until midnight. The reality is, there is no good time. I finally told her Saturday, while we were out alone together in the car.
She was desperately disappointed, but tried not to show it. As much as I have tried to encourage her to express her feelings, s/he is stoic and stubborn to a fault...too much like her mother, I'm afraid. I tried to talk up the virtues of the other High School s/he is interested in. They have a hockey team, they have an out lesbian as president of their student council, and by far, she would have better academic success. We agreed that the Hockey Academy was losing out not accepting her, and that the other high school was the best choice. Phew.
Before bed however, a quiet scared voice cuddled in bed with me and said
"I don't really want to go to High School mom. I'm really nervous about it."
I wanted to crumble next to her and cry, "Me too, I'm terrified. I am scared of the suicide rate amongst trans-gendered youth, I'm scared of bullies. I'm scared you won't find love or acceptance! I am scared you will be hurt." Of course, I couldn't say all that.
"It's going to be great. You're going to make great new friends and play on their hockey team. If you don't like it, we will find a school you like." Her body relaxed hearing that.
"You're a great mom, you know that mom?" s/he said.
"You succeed." s/he said.
The reality is - I am terrified.