“Can she have some privacy?!!” I snapped as we instinctively marked our personal changing areas to peel off our dripping swimsuits in the cold of a friend’s lavish yet confined guest bathroom. I knew if it wasn’t for the luxury of swimming yesterday this whole changing thing would not fly for Hope. I thought I was a private person. Hope puts the P in Private.
Will, on the other hand, stood comfortably looking at me stark naked as he was with a face like a question mark. “What??!?” he replied. Apparently he doesn’t channel “nakedness” like Hope and I do. He simply has no issues with it. And really, if we look at it, Will doesn’t have a lot of issues with anything. Quirky as he is, he is the most amiable, adaptable, intuitive, loving and supportive child I’ve every encountered. He is Hope’s biggest fan.
In all my work writing, speaking and advocating for gender diverse kids, I want to underscore the importance of siblings and validate their experiences. All too often siblings willingly step aside and let the occasional (or sometimes continual) drama of their gender diverse sibling’s life take over the family dynamic. Siblings have this beautiful capacity to understand on the most fundamental level and often selflessly act as loving buffers to the outside world. Can a parent get any luckier?
All too often I lay in bed ruminating that I’ve not given Will enough credit. His plate remains full most days. Let’s be honest, for the past three years he’s filled various roles for all of us: bodyguard, professional listener, motivational speaker, enlightened poet, personal assistant, master comedian, loving brother and a dream-come-true son. And he’s six.
Thank you Will. From the bottom of my heart. I may not say it enough but your quiet goodness inspires me every single day.