Christmas tree oh Christmas tree…

I thought putting up our tree was going to be easy. I don’t know why, it wasn’t like I’d had an easy time the last couple of years.

Two years ago we got our tree out of storage and it was missing a leg. I jury rugged one out of a plastic coat hanger then quickly covered it with the tree skirt. It wasn’t perfect but it held the tree up until after Christmas, which was good enough.

Then Colin and I went to Superstore during the Boxing Day sales and I picked up a new 6ft tree for $15. It was such a good deal that I called Kait and asked if she wanted one too. Luckily she refused.

I nearly cried last year when I put up that tree and looked at it for the first time. The spaces between the branches were nearly 10cm apart. I like some large spaces for dangling ornaments but not the whole tree. The spaces were so wide it resembled some sort of bizarre fern instead of a pine tree.

That’s when Colin came to the rescue. He’d kept the old tree and all three feet. He promptly stole a foot from the mutant fern tree and hammered it into the old tree’s base.

“There, you have all your feet,” he said triumphantly.

And I set up our original tree and Christmas was good.

It was after dinner on Friday when Colin and I went downstairs to get our four Rubbermaid bins on Christmas decorations and the box with the tree in it. Colin piles all four boxes onto his skateboard, the only time he uses it, and I grabbed the tree and carried it home.

The worst thing about our original tree is it’s one of those older style ones where you have to attach every single branch. I started digging out all the branches then found the tree feet at the bottom of the box… all two of them when the tree needed four. We triple checked and nothing. No more feet. At that point I declared it a night and went to bed. The next morning I went downstairs and found another foot near the back of the locker. But three feet weren’t going to cut it and I couldn’t find a coat hanger similar to the one I’d previously used.

We have a JYSK a block away from our place and a quick internet search turned up a 6ft tree for $23.99. I grabbed our wagon, which Colin’s decorated for Christmas, and headed over. The only one they had at that price was 5ft but it was good enough.

Colin came in while I was decorating and stared at it in shock.

“It’s tiny,” he blurted. Which it must seem from his 6ft4in height. But I’m not much bigger than the tree and it looks fine to me.

The best thing about this tree is it has legs instead of feet and they’re all one solid piece. Now to see what’s going to happen to our tree in 2018!

our little tree



“I borrowed one of your shirts,” I called as Emma untied her shoes in the front hall.

She walked into the living room and looked at me, “You can keep it,” she said, “It looks good on you. Besides I won’t be needing it.”

“So you’ve decided? You’re not transitioning?” I asked.

“I can’t,” she replied. “I want to be a parent so badly.”

I’d already talked to her about adoption and using a sperm donor. She’d vetoed both, wanting a baby that came from her.

I said the first thing that came to mind. “It’s a good thing I didn’t buy an Emma name card for your bedroom door.”

“Oh yeah,” she breathed. “I would have cried.”

“Are you changing because you really are male?” I had to ask.

She shook her head, “No. I’m female.”

I don’t know what to do now. She figures she won’t need to tell the family because they don’t use her name and pronouns anyway. I think they could use a head’s up. But then there’s Facebook and her doctor’s office and, well, me. I changed pronouns quickly when she started out with zie and moved to they. I even switched quickly when she went back to he for half a year. But switching back to male everything when I know she’s a woman? That’s harder. A lot harder.

So, from now on I’ll be doing my best to refer to Emma as Colin and using the pronouns he and him. And maybe someday I’ll be able to say Emma again.

You are..

You are loved
You are valued
You are important
You are beautiful
You are handsome
You are strong
You are powerful
You are made from the stuff of stars
You are kindness
You are courage
You are freedom
You are cared for
You matter

On this, the Transgender Day of Remembrance, you are honoured and treasured. Even if you feel alone, there are people out there who would love to meet you, would love to be your friend.

If you are depressed there are numbers you can call for help. Or you can message me on my Facebook page. I will listen.

Trans day of Remembrance

Decisions… decisions…

Nothing much has changed on Emma’s side regarding transitioning. She knows she’s female but hasn’t decided whether to start hormones or not. She doesn’t want to be a trap (definitions 3 and 4) as she puts it.

There seems to be blocks everywhere. Having her stop transitioning and waiting for a decade or so to have biological kids is easy to say but isn’t particularly feasible as she’s already struggling with gender dysphoria. Plus, as Emma pointed out, there’s no guarantee she’ll be able to have biological kids. She could fall in love with another trans woman or a woman who’s infertile.

Sperm banks are prohibitively expensive, then there’s storage fees on top of the first payment. Plus there’s In Vitro Fertilization which only a 40% success rate per cycle for a young person. Once her spouse’s age goes past 35 years old, that rate drops.

And the last choice, on her list, adoption. This one sounds like a good option on in future. Let’s say Emma and her partner have good jobs and they want to adopt. They get a list of questions and one of the first ones is “Do you have a mental illness?” and that’s the end of the questioning because she’s no longer valid to be an adoptive parent.

Her only hope now is for a partner with a womb so they can use a sperm bank, something I haven’t looked into… yet.

I’ve found someone for her to talk to, mostly because I’m tactless and will do just about anything for my kids when they’re in a tough situation. I walked up to a total stranger and asked her if she was trans. She was. Before she could turn around and walk away, I blurted, “I’m asking for my teenager, she’s trans”. We had a good conversation and she gave me her phone number and agreed to chat with Emma.

It’s hard waiting for Emma to make up her mind. I could ask her but it’s her decision to make and she needs space to do this on her own. I just hope she makes the decision for her and not some possibly future embryo.