She’s Human, Let’s Just Roll With That

I’m a working mom. That means I juggle a lot, but I still pick up our babies each day after school, help with homework, talk about their friends, set up playdates etc.. Now don’t get me wrong, my husband is one of a kind and he’s very involved. However, last week I spent three nights away working and don’t tell them, but I missed my children. Yeah I know the same babies that I’ve prayed would give me a minute to myself. It’s funny how that works.

So while away, I found a play that I was sure they’d enjoy and I’d get to spend some much needed quality time. Grace for President was playing in Raleigh and although about an hour drive, we were up for it and they’d read the book so it was a perfect way to spend a Sunday evening. In the play, Grace Campbell realizes we haven’t had a female president. The lack of females in the White House, sparks her idea for a school election.

After a great performance we headed to the lobby for cast autographs and I ran into one of my work colleagues that lives in that area. She was there with her transgender daughter. Her daughter, which outwardly appeared male, identified as female. So she introduced her maybe 9-year old as her daughter Leah. I quickly shook Leah’s hand and told her I was happy to meet her. But then came time to introduce Leah to my two children.

Let me preface this by saying, we’ve never had this talk. We’ve never really had a reason to, plus my children are 8 and 6 and I really thought I had more time. This was my first experience meeting a transgender elementary age person and while I faced this new adventure intrepidly, I was nervous as hell to think what my children may say or how they may react. But I also thought it as a wonderful learning opportunity. So I introduced my daughter who’s 8 and wise beyond her years first. “Morgan, this is Leah.” Without hesitation or making a funny facial expression she reached for Leah’s hand and said “nice to meet you” with a warm smile. Next up was my 6-year-old son who missed his sister’s introduction because he was getting his last cast autograph. “Garrett, meet Leah,” I said. He drops his head and says “hi.” I asked if he could shake Leah’s hand, but it really wasn’t a question and he knew that. He slowly raises his right hand to meet Leah’s right hand.

I stand and make pleasantries for a few minutes about dinner plans, profession updates etc.. and I slip up once and refer to Leah as he but immediately catch myself and self correct and her mom is gracious enough to remind me gently “she.” We leave with parting hugs and go our separate ways.

When we’re beyond earshot I ask my children if we need to discuss meeting Leah and how they felt. My daughter says “well, to tell you the truth, I was a little confused. I mean she looked like a boy but she’s a girl. She’s a girl right?” “Yes she was born a boy but identifies as a girl,” I said.

“Well, does she have a penis or a vagina?” She asked. “I certainly wouldn’t know that,” I said “but I think the important thing is that we respect her wishes and refer to her as her girl.”

Insert uncomfortable pregnant pause.

“I figure it’s really none of my business,” Morgan said and to tell the truth the only thing we know for certain is that she’s human. So let’s just roll with that.”

I pat her on the back and say good that’s how I was hoping you’d look at it. I then turn to my son who’s two years younger and intensely listening. I asked him how he felt meeting someone like Leah and he said “I don’t know, I was really confused.”

“Well there’s no need to be confused,” I said. “She was introduced by her mom as a girl and so that’s what she is.” “I know that mom,” he said. “But …my eyes said she’s a boy.”

“I’m sure son, but remember that our brains tell our eyes what they see. So, like Morgan said, she’s human.” “Yup, the only thing I know for sure is she’s a person,” he said. “So let’s just roll with that.

These are not conversations my mom had to have with me, it was a different time. But there a few fundamentals I picked up as a kid that I was happy to pass on.

1) God makes each of us uniquely in His image.

2) Treat people like you want to be treated.

3) Love thy neighbors as ourselves.

I sincerely wish my colleague and her daughter the absolute best as I know first hand this world can be cruel. But I also know there’s a lot of love in it and those with it are responsible for teaching it to our children.

 

 

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Operation Get Your Body Back

At just 5’4” I’ve always aired on the petite side. In college I was unable to donate blood because I didn’t weigh the mandatory 110 pounds. I was a solid size 4 for most of my adult life. And yes my wedding dress was a two piece; it was a beach wedding. As I reminisce about the old me, I am determined to not let it just be a wading memory of yesteryear.

While it’s true my daddy’s genetics helped some, the truth is I have always worked out. I was very athletic, an avid runner, and up for just about any sporting activity. My eating habits aren’t too shabby either. My mom says I eat “rabbit” food. I have an affinity for fruits and veggies, don’t fry anything but fish and have never been a big dessert kind of girl.

Having said that, the current me has two babies – both by C-Section, in my late 30s and not nearly enough money for a personal chef or enough free time to spend half the day in the gym.

I gained so much weight with my daughter I was almost unrecognizable. I had to have my wedding rings re-sized and my feet jumped up a size. I was one doughnut shy of 200 pounds by her birth and happy as a lark, until after delivery. Like a lot of us, I struggled with my self-esteem a bit after she was born and was happy to get to my pre-pregnancy weight before trying for our son.

I didn’t gain quite as much with him, but enough to tip the scale to an uncomfortable number for me. So for Christmas I asked for 20 sessions for a personal trainer and as soon as I was cleared by the doctor I got back in the gym. Clearly, my mind was in the right place but my body wasn’t. I struggled. My knees ached, my back ached, I had two babies and was purely exhausted. An annual check up revealed that I wasn’t experiencing just old age on top of baby weight gain, but the cartilage in my knees was weak and my body wasn’t ready to jump back in as quickly as I had hoped.

So I sat down for a few months and plotted by comeback. I began a vitamin regimen, including Glucosamine for the cartilage issue and started acupuncture treatments for all other aches and pains and overall alignment and tune up. Last month, I got back in the game. I joined a fitness boot camp in hopes of jump starting operation get your body back.

Four weeks later, 10 pounds lighter, two sizes smaller I am on my way. No, I have not arrived, which is why I am determined to run at least 3 miles, at least 3 days per week and doing insanity workouts in between with my husband. But it’s tough.

Scheduling workout time is a major ordeal in our house now. Initially mid-morning workouts were perfect. Princess was in school and the baby could come to the gym nursery or join me on a run in the running stroller. But now school is out, I am catching hell trying to figure out a new system. Anything after their bedtime is a crap shoot. Most nights, I am so exhausted I turn in, when they fall asleep and I can’t imagine setting an alarm clock to shorten my 4-5 hours of sleep for any reason. But something has to give, and like most things mommies do, I have to just make it happen.  And the nights when I fall short, I don’t beat myself up, but I make a vow to do better the next day.

The moral of the story is, we find time for things we prioritize like our children’s weekly dance lessons, or stocking ingredients for our husband’s favorite meal, gardening or clipping coupons and now it’s time to choose fitness.

Who’s with me? Operation Get Your Body Back is a mommy commitment to being better and doing more to be healthier, sexier, more energetic moms. It doesn’t matter how old your children are, how tight your schedule is or how small your commitment is. What matters is choosing us, prioritizing us and putting the work in, to get your desired results.

My beginning weight was 171

My current weight is 158

My short-term goal is 150 (pre-pregnancy weight)

My long-term goal is 135 (wedding weight)