Etymology is fascinating. Clarification: Etymology is fascinating to me. Way back in the university attending days, I would spend hours reading from a volume of the Oxford English Dictionary. Pulling volumes off of the low thick dark solid wood shelves, I’d carry them over to the giant reading tables to browse. The history of how our language, any language, came to be, is amazing. We pinched the prefix, “trans,” from Latin (Roman Conquerors left more than rape and pillage DNA!) and added onto words (sometimes also from Latin, sometimes not) to indicate “the other side of,” “across,” or “beyond.” Transatlantic. Transgender. Transmute. Transfer. Transsexual. Translate. Transition. Transcendental. You know, words words words.
This summer has been quickslow (etymology none, neologism hopeful). Transitioning things expected having now left our Montessori school home for grades 1 through 8, moving towards a large high school experience. With the additions of continuing COVID, legislative discrimination of all potentially pregnant human people, plus a substantial dose of lack of accountability for openly criminal acts against non-white humans as well as our entire governing structure.
SonHerisme: Momma, you have been very very angry for weeks now. Are you going to be okay? Me: Really? I am so sorry buddy. I'll try to be more mindful of my moods. Then I begin to wonder am I starting menopause? am I in menopause? do I have a disease running rampant through my body? am I losing my mind? OR am I really truly feeling the angers about something?
Turns out – I AM ANGRY I am fucking pissed with all of the angers. And also sad. And ashamed that I have not been feeling this angry before it was blatantly directed at me.
It happens as predicted. Until they come for you, you feel all of the self congratulatory feelings of being a part-time activist ally who can take off that hat at any time, and rest your head so gently until you feel called again. When they come for you, there is no one left to help you because you stood by as others were persecuted.
This has been a summer of transition.
SonHerisme is now 14 and has so much more control over contact with MrexH. Words cannot express the deep transcendental soul relief I felt on his birthday this year. SonHerisme is 6’2″ and full of all of the teenagernesses which make him appear to be 17/18 years old. Inside, he is my sweet little hawkie-bat superhero wild turkey puffin bear. Outside, he is relishing the powerful body he has been given by sportsing it up all over the place. He still feels supported by the helpers around him (thank goodness). He held his “Bans off our Bodies,” “Abortion is Health Care,” signs as high as he could, chanting as loudly as he could, outside of our courthouse. He has his “Black Lives Matter,” “LGBTQ,” and, “People of Quality Do Not Fear Equality,” posters, shirts, and he displays them, wears them etc. He is very aware that his buddies are treated differently – and sometimes he is as well. He identifies with his Hispanic heritage from MrexH (which I found out this summer through one of our deep conversations). He has been able to maintain friendships with girls, boys – a few non-binary, and one transitioning.
These kids know that all humans deserve humane consideration. When a black boy is murdered by police, these kids know it is one of them, and they might be next. When a mass shooting happens, these kids know it has affected someone like them, and they might be next. When a kid is targeted or mocked by an adult for being gay, black, Hispanic, a girl in shorts, they know it is one of them being targeted or mocked, and they group together to protect their peers.
Many times I have sat down to complete my thoughts over this summer and failed. I feel myself transitioning. No – transitioning is too much pressure. I am much more able to feel realities of transience through time.
Today is SonHerisme’s first day of High School. It will be interesting to see his take on how transformative this experience will be for his curiosity, life goal planning, and adventures. He’s already been thrown a loop by not making it onto the soccer team. He worked so hard for it, but the coach painfully cut him in the final 2 spots. He is considering playing for a club outside of school that he played for before. He is considering continuing with tennis outside of school. He is considering filling a vacant position with the High School Marching Band. He is considering trying rugby with a club outside of school. Maybe we should become transient-scholars. Traveling the world, online school… on whose dime though? *sigh* Be still little imaginations and let the checklists rule for just a bit longer please and thank you.
The world is open to SonHerisme’s transformation pivots while he practices more and more on becoming the adult he wishes to be. I am the groupie guide teenagering/adulting translation support navigation system he will require less on some days and more on others. I have failed him in many areas, and come through for him in many areas. This is a heavy transition for both if us – gently gently with our bittersweet bruised-into-determination souls.
It is time to embrace the quickslow. The quickslow will happen embraced or not, natch.
I need to move forward into the habits/person/parent/momma that my teenagering High School newborn baby giant puffin muffin baby bear needs. As well as the habits and attention I need for my own self once he truly launches out into the world.
I am… always myself, which rarely translates into anything that I predict. So there’s that. Here’s hoping for the best then! For all of us to allow the space for transformation in this transitiony time of year 🙂
Be kind to school staff, walkers, bikers, school bussers, and fellow car-line peoples (as well as the oddly knee-socked lady wandering the downtown park… she is me and I am fully aware of how ridiculous I look but needs must).
AAAAAAaaaaaand, we’re off! Transients through existence if nothing else.
Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo
ps I also observe that while we have culturally decided that COVID is not a thing anymore, people continue to be infected, re-infected, become very ill, and suffer long-term issues. It looks like we are a-okay with that overall. Science and statistics say, “WARNING DANGER!” CDC and we say, “meh, whatevs.” Good luck with that as well. Transridiculousious…
High School side note: I went to the open house evening at the High School. It was free-form glee for these kiddos. The doors opened and everyone moved into the cafeteria, located their counselor (by last name) to receive their schedules and disperse on the adventure of walking their schedule or visiting club stations in the cafeteria. Staff were in the hallways to help kids find their classrooms, answer questions, and give navigation advice. Teachers were waiting at their classroom doors or inside their rooms to greet students/parents, answer questions, and provide supply expectations. I wanted to hug and thank every staff member there. It was all very sweet, vulnerable, and open. My goodness how times have changed from my long ago days of being a High School student. Good luck, staff! Good luck, students! Good luck, sweet tiny giant SonHerisme! Happy back-to-schooling y’all! Bittersweet brokenhealing quickslow transient times.