An Interview With My Youngest Child About Her Step-Parent’s Transition
My youngest daughter was only nine months old when I left her biological father. He was an abusive alcoholic, and I just couldn't justify putting another child through that kind of insanity. Soon after we filed for divorce and the court battle began. He fought for weekend visitation, then never followed through to make plans to see them. She was seventeen months old when my wife, who I had dated in high school, and I reconnected. With the absence of her biological father, my wife soon became the other adult in her life. Four months after she had turned four years old, my ex died in a car wreck. She and biological father never really forged any kind of relationship. To my daughter, my wife was always her Daddy.
Understandable, for my youngest, my wife's transition was slightly different than it was for my two older girls. That is the reason that I sat down and talked with her separately. My two older girls felt as though they were losing another father. My number three just could not relate to that notion at all. When she speaks to her friends, I still hear her refer to my wife as her Daddy. I must admit, it always takes me by surprise and I wonder for about five seconds, whom she is talking about. Then, I chuckle and remind myself that a piece of her will always see my wife as her Daddy, and how lucky she is to have one. On many occasions I have had the opportunity to say to my three girls, "I know what you are saying, and how you feel." My wife's transition was not one of those times. I have not had a parent who transitioned, so I do not understand at all. I have nothing to compare it to. So this is what my youngest daughter, who is now seventeen, had to say about her Daddy's transition.
Question 1: What was the first thing that came to your mind after we sat you down and told you that your step Dad was transgender?
My #3- One of the first thoughts that crossed my mind was that I never saw that coming, and my next thought was, well I guess I have two moms now.
Question 2: What did you think that transition would be like?
My #3- Well I remember the two of you telling us that nothing would change. I held onto that that thought. I knew that there would be physical changes, but I didn't think anything else would change, like our home life or our family.
Question 3: How was it different than you thought it would be?
My #3- She needed more attention than we had ever given her, but it was good and at the time she needed it. I think she needed us more than ever before and it was nice to be there for her. It brought me closer to her.
Question 4: Has your relationship with your step-parent changed?
My #3- Yes it has. We were kind of going through puberty together, so we understood each other on another level. We were going through the same things at the same time, so we had a lot to talk about. The whole experience brought us closer.
Question 5: How is life today?
My #3- Having two moms became the norm very quickly. Our day to day life seems to run smoother, not sure why, but it does. I have absolutely no complaints. She loves me the way she always did and wants all the best things in life for me. We can and do talk about anything and everything, and I love it.
I have always tried my hardest to never keep my girls in the dark about life changing events that would affect them. My wife's transition was one of those things. We went to see a therapist, we talked, we cried, and got angry with each other in a healthy way, and we have all come out the other end a closer family unit. If my girls didn't love and accept my wife, I would have been devastated. Thankfully the love that they all have for one another is greater than any transition. As my #3 said, transition will never change the love your parent has for you. So there is no reason on earth that your love for them should change.