This is a sentence that will rock your world. It will make you think for hours, days, and even, weeks about what was said, what should have been said, how it was said, and if too much was said. When this sentence comes from a girl, it makes sense. When it doesn't, it kinda' makes you wish you had some sort of psychology degree to talk about this sentiment. Or, at best, have one nearby that can help both of you cope with it.
"Mom, I want to be a girl."
When he said it, I think he knew that a seven year old boy should not be thinking this, but he just had to say it. I sort of blanked out and said something about how G-d made him this way for a reason, and that while it is fun to play with girl things, he is not a girl. While it hasn't been brought up again since, I can tell you that I am freaked out. I love him. I love that he shared that with me. I wish he had shared something more along the lines of the fact that playing with his sister's dolls was boring, or playing dress up with her dress up bin was yucky, but he didn't. He told me he wants to be a girl.
Nature vs. nurture debate time. His sister, a neurotypical six year old, loves being a girl. Seven year old autistic spectrum brother, does EVERYTHING with his sister. They are inseparable. They love each other, and to play together, since they both appreciate and enjoy the same things. "Girlie" things. I am not in the least bit feminine, other than the fact that I have ovaries, a uterus, and some other girlie parts that my husband can tell you more about than I can. (For real- dude can tell me if I am getting a yeast infection before I have one- just by noting the color of my skin. It's a gift. And it's creepy.) My husband, father of the two aforementioned migits, is not particularly masculine. He is not competitive, nor is he really the game watching type of dad. His main interest- musical theater. He is the man that will always notice if one of my friends got a hair cut/color. I never notice such things.
Hubby has been trained well to open doors for a lady. We have forced that upon our son, who I venture to assume, thinks that doors should be held open for him. Even at younger stages of life, we have always had concerns about him. When I say, "we," I am not referring to both my husband and I. Mostly me and others around me. They have or have had young boys, and his behaviors do not match up. Is it because he is not around boys enough? Is it because his male role model is more effeminate than his mother? Is it because he has a sister that he is so close with? Or is it the feminist culture we live in where women are allowed every right that the opposite sex is allowed, yet still demand to be treated specially as a woman?
This is not a religious debate for me. This is me seeing ahead, and seeing how difficult it must be to feel this way. To feel accepted, and normal. To feel right. And to fit in. All of which, is already a struggle for him. I do not believe that G-d finds this sinful. I think G-d made him, and G-d loves him, and so she I. This is not about me loving less. It's about me loving so much that I don't want to see him struggle more than he already does in life.
I can see the allure, but I also see a difficult path. I love the fact that I have had a difficult path in life. It has built character that I might other wise had been without. I don't want to take all the challenges out of my children's life journey, but I also won't allow either of them to face challenges alone. I might be premature on this, and he might develop a stronger sense of his masculinity in time, but until that day, I will love him, and how G-d made him. Gender confused, and all.