I have a friend who’s 8 year old daughter is famous for saying whatever pops into her little mind with reckless abandon. This little girl scares the crap out of me. For a couple of years now she has looked at me strangely but not said a word. Her mother knows that I’m terrified of what might pop out of her mouth and finds it pretty amusing. I must admit that it’s fairly funny that I would be so nervous around an eight year old. Lately she’s taken to telling me that I’m gross and weird. I’m gross because a few weeks ago her dad and I took a bite out of some gourmet dog treats to see how they tasted. (Not bad, actually.) She told us both that we were gross for the rest of the night. She likes to remind me about it every time she sees me now. And now, for some reason, I’m weird. I think she likes me, but I’m not really sure. She brought me a bouquet of lollipops when I had my surgery and proceeded to eat a couple of them before she left. Still, she looks at me like she’s trying to figure me out, but says nothing. The tension has been building between us for quite a while now.
Last night Candace and I had dinner with her and her little brother and parents to celebrate New Year’s Eve. She was quiet and pensive all evening. She’s eight going on fifteen and already has teenage mood swings. Apparently she didn’t want to go to that restaurant, but we had made reservations weeks ahead so…too bad, sweetheart. After dinner we all came back to my house to play games and hang out. My basement is a party zone and I have a little disco light that I turned on. She started telling me that it was stupid to have a disco ball in such a small space and that I was weird. Ok kid. Usually I just say, yep, I’m weird. Yep, I’m dumb. Whatever.
All night I was misgendered. It was she and her from all of the adults when referring to me. As they were all packing up to go home and her dad said something about me and referred to me as a she, my little eight year old friend put her hand on her hip and said, “Dad, it is not a she. It’s a he now! It used to be a she.” Dad’s expression was priceless. Her mom told her she was smarter than her dad (that’s true!). Finally it was out!! My little friend said what I should have said a long time ago. And now I know that she knows and we’re good. Thank you my little advocate for speaking up for me.
Out of the mouths of babes.
Happy New Year!