Oh yes, there was one other part to Amber's graduation party that I wanted to mention, now that I think about it.
The last time I saw Amber before the graduation celebration was at the graduation celebration for Ashes. At the end of that party, she looked at me quite seriously, and said, "You need to text me."
Things being as they are, and me being as I am, even though I said I would, that texting failed to happen. And so, two days before her party, I received a text from Amber. Mountain coming to Mohammed, and that sort of thing. As usuall, it was one of her typical babbling brooks:
She wrote, "Okay, I'm impatient and kinda want to tell you this before I see you. I kind of remember wanting to tell you at the party, and I told you to text me but then you never did an it's kind of like out of sight out of mind so I forgot about telling you, but now that I'm going home again it's back on my mind. So I'm telling you: I've been seeing a therapist and I'm a few weeks away from getting hormones."
"I was wondering when this was going to happen!" I texted back. And in truth, I had been. "How is your mom about that?"
Her response took me a bit by surprise. "Ummm, yeah, about that. I haven't talked to mom yet."
Fortunately, Amber caught me on a chatty day. I had ben dispensing advice back and forth, to all who came to me, and I was still in the mood. "You need to tell your mom, before you start the hormones," I texted, then paused, thinking for a moment about what I had typed. "Wait until after the graduation party, though."
"I know," she typed back. "But I stopped telling my mom personal things a long time ago and it's worked out well."
I laughed at that one. It was a wise course of action, frankly. "But this is different," I texted back. "This is big. Your mom needs to know before it happens. She deserves that. And by the way, I'm proud that you're so open about this."
"Don't be proud that I'm so open about it. I'd much people see me as a freak than a girl. It;s the fear of being a girl, not bravery or anything."
"Being a girl is easy, if you enjoy being a girl," I texted back. "But just focus on having fun Saturday."
She did. And, she told me that she's decided to become Alex.
I think it makes sense for her to make this choice, at this point in time. After she graduates from college, where people have known her as Amber, but before she enters the workforce and people get to know her as Alex. I do wonder how she'll deal with the diploma thing, but I guess that no one really ever looks at your actual diploma. Besides, my sister Laurie's partner, who is a high-ranking muckety-muck at a big evil corporation, faked her college education entirely on her job applications, and no one's been much the wiser, all these years.
This is something she's always wanted. This isn't just a fling. This is something that she's wanted to do since she was 12.
Today I received a new text from her: "This is random but I appreciated the envelope."
My graduation card to her. I written on the envelope, simply: "To A."
"I figured you would, A," I texted back.
A brand new babbling brook:
"So I need your help. Sometime before next Tuesday I need to tell my mom to avoid talking to the therapist about how to tell my mom. I know that sounds weird but I have to think about telling my mom once (when I tell her, obviously) and I'd rather not do it twice."
Frankly, I think her therapist could help her talk it through, but I also know that Amber can be a bit stubborn.
My thought is, she needs to do this in person. Over the phone won't work. And, she needs to be firm. Her mom will try to talk her out of it. I know her, and she will come up with a million and one reasons why now is not the right time. She'll say that Amber hasn't seen enough therapists, or she hasn't seen the right therapist. She will probably say that Amber is seeing someone who is unfairly trying to talk her into getting a sex change, and should get a second opinion.
I think Amber should do this in person, but if the going gets rough, give herself the option to leave alone, in her own car. Leave, but in a nice way. This is going to take some adjustment for Pauline. It's going to take time.
Amber, on the other hand, doesn't want to see her. She says she prefers an "electronic means of communication."
"Phone? Don't say text."
She took a minute to respond. "Facebook message?"
"You can't be serious." I texted back.
"It's so much easier to do it in letter or message form."
I guess, But I kind of feel that her mom deserves more than that. On the other hand, now that I think about it, I came out to my mom on the phone, for much the same reasons.
However, even that seems to me like a cowardly decision. As if she's ashamed of the decision she's making. I feel this should be something she's certain about. Or am I completely off base about this?