Tuesday, April 23, 2013

T is for Thanks (by Leslie Lagerstrom)

For this year's A-Z Challenge, I am organising my writing group's participation for the first time. So I am posting each entry here as well as on the website, Write On, Mamas! who are a writing group based in the San Francisco North Bay area. We will have 25 Mamas and one Papa writing on a different letter of the alphabet during the A-Z Blog Challenge. Comments are always so appreciated here or it would also be lovely if you would comment on the Write On, Mamas! blog. Thanks and look forward to reading your blog.
Photography by Mary Allison Tierney


For those who know me, I am sure you are surprised that I didn’t go with the ‘T’ word that has been at the center of my world for the last ten years. As a mother of a transgender child and a staunch advocate for that community, I’ll admit that was the obvious choice. But I wanted to devote my post to ‘Thanks,’ because it is a word that is never said enough, and a sentiment I find difficult to adequately convey.

This would be especially true in our family’s case, as we have found ourselves on a path less traveled. A path that some days feels riddled with hurdles and landmines, but yet has allowed us to experience the absolute best of humankind.

People like my son’s science and English teachers, who made their classrooms sanctuaries of safety at lunchtime when Sam was afraid to eat in the cafeteria.

Parents with children like ours, who lend support when the stigma is more than we can bear…who offer advice as we traverse the public school system with a child whose mind and biology do not match…who share amusing stories that only those in our ranks can understand, proving time and again that laughter truly is the best medicine.

Family members that circle the wagons to safeguard Sam’s physical and mental well-being.

Friends who use the correct pronouns without being asked.

And the neighbors that always greet us with empathy instead of sympathy in their eyes.

How do I possibly express the gratitude that runs so deeply through my veins for these and so many other gestures of kindness great and small? By extending heartfelt thanks over and over again, and hoping with every fiber of my being that they understand.

Leslie Lagerstrom is a proud mom of two children, who is a writer and advocate. In 2011 she created the blog Transparenthoodwhich chronicles her family’s experience raising a transgender child. Believing the time is now to change hearts and minds, she volunteers to speak on a national basis, most frequently appearing in front of medical and teaching professionals.

9 comments:

  1. Really great way of saying thanks

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    1. Thanks Pat - I appreciate your comment!

      Leslie

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  2. I think you just did. Glad so many kindhearted people have helped along the way.

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    1. We have been overwhelmed by people's kindness - especially considering this is a subject that is still so misunderstood by many! Thanks for your comment Alex!

      Leslie

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  3. circle the wagons... love that. Thank you Leslie.

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    1. Thanks Mary - my friend in Texas made fun of me for that line! I am glad there are others out there that appreciate it! : )

      Leslie

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  4. What a fantastic Thank you - and Thank YOU, Leslie. Your son must be an amazing and courageous person and how fortunate that he was born into such a supportive and loving family. An inspiration.

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