As I began my journey into authenticity at the age of 46, I knew there were things I would never experience -- things that are somewhat typical of growing up female in a middle-class Kansas family. I would never skip down the aisle with my mom shopping for the most beautiful, frilliest dress we could find. I would never know what it was like to be a daughter. I would never know what it was like to carry a child. I would never know what it was like to be a mom -- to have a daughter.
Most other aspects of womanhood have been a part of my journey. Yesterday, I had my fifth yearly mammogram. Or was it my sixth? I have totally experienced the devaluation of my opinion as society began to see me as a woman. The experience of feelings and emotions has been at least very near to those typically associated with being a cisgender woman. I am not equipped to experience menstruation. My cis women friends are not shy about telling me how lucky I am about that.
Life has turned out to be more creative than I could have anticipated. I have often found myself "spinning circles" in a rush of feelings that could only be best described as girlhood. Although my birth mom died many years before I stopped pretending to be her son, life would place another woman into my world who would become very much a mom to me -- and I very much a daughter to her.
Carrying a child in my womb is not -- as nearly as I can tell -- a possibility. The sadness I experience about that is, I would think, perhaps similar to the sadness experienced by any woman who desired to, but was unable carry a child.
My son and I have been estranged for nearly 10 years, and even if life brings him back to me, I would not be his mother. Perhaps his parent. Perhaps life will offer him and me the opportunity to have a discussion one day around the terminology that might work for him.
In March 2014 on a trip to West Plains, Missouri, I met a young woman who would change my world forever. She is full of life and love. She is much the kind of young woman I hope I would have been, had I been able to live authentically at that time in my life. She has the most tender heart.
She and I became instant friends -- like when you meet someone and you know they are supposed to be in your life, and from that moment on, they will be in your life forever. A few months later, Hallie would ask me to be her godmother. Little did I know the blessings that were bestowed on me in that simple, little question. Blessings that I had no idea I would ever experience. And certainly some discussions I had no idea I would ever have.
Late-night discussions about the challenges and difficulties of life. Morning Skype sessions about which outfit to wear and what the day has in store. Anytime discussions about anything under the sun. Awesome discussions about what we will do the next time we get to spend time together.
Nowadays, I find myself making a trip to West Plains a lot more often than I would have expected. When the Transgender Faith Tour took me to Springfield, Missouri a couple Sundays ago; with a stop in Little Rock, Arkansas the following Sunday; it was only natural to go spend a week with my goddaughter. An amazing week it was.
Among the many wonderful experiences was a trip to Springfield for a hair appointment, pizza, and some shopping. Looking at clothes in a department store, I heard this soft, sweet voice say, "Momma." My girl -- my goddaughter -- was asking me what I thought about a piece of clothing, as we shopped together. A life-long impossible dream became an honest, wonderful, lived-experience I will never forget.
Tears of joy are filling my eyes as I type these words. Joy fills my heart as the most unreachable stars in the sky simply make themselves available to me on this most authentic journey of womanhood. There is nothing more amazing than to hear this incredible young woman offer me the status of momma. Nothing in my lifetime could ever begin to fill my heart as much as this particular part of the journey.
This journey into becoming a trans godmother has much more to offer than I can begin to imagine. Our discussions have included the maybe-one-day events of seeing my goddaughter get married and start a family of her own. Who knew? Who could have known? I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. Blessed be.