A father speaking to his son:
"...What would you do, Lukey, if I turned into a woman?"
He looked unsure. "I would...still love you?"
"Would you?" I said.
He thought it over. "Sure," he said. "You'd still be you, wouldn't you?"
"Uh-huh." We sat together on the couch for a while.
"Have you noticed that I've been looking more and more like a girl over the last year?" I said.
"Some of my friends think you are a girl," he said.
"That must be hard for you," I said.
"Not really. I just tell them, 'That's my daddy.'"
"Lukey, I need to talk to you about something. I have a condition, it's like when a person's sick, that makes me feel like a girl on the inside, even though I'm a boy on the outside. Does that make any sense to you, that a person's insides and outsides wouldn't match?"
"Sure," he said. "I know what that's like."
"So I'm taking some medicine that is slowly making my outsides more and more like a girl. After a while, I'm going to totally be a girl. I know that might make you sad, but it's what I need to do."
Luke gave me a big hug. "I won't be sad. You said you'd still be you."
A passage from She's Not There by Jennifer Finney Boylan. I hadn't planned on reading this book, but it sort of crashed into my reading list like a freight train. It is a moving account of one man's transition into womanhood and is giving me a look into what kind of identity struggles and difficulties one can have with gender issues. If you're interested in or somehow touched by this topic, I think this book is a good one to read. The above passage made me tear up, and I really, really hope it's true.
And now on to my original vacation reading list!
The Bicycle Diaries by David Byrne. I love the Talking Heads, so what's not to love about the frontman's accounts of travels with his bicycle and urban cycling? I can't wait to pick this up, or have it delivered by Amazon, I haven't decided which. Amazon is probably the more convenient and affordable choice, even though I love perusing the shelves of bookstores. But I have to say, that is not much fun with 2 kids.
Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger's by John Elder Robison. Autism is a topic that has fascinated me since I was art director at a summer camp for kids with special needs. This book is Augusten Burrough's brother's account of his experiences with Asperger's since childhood. The neat thing about Asperger’s is that the people who have it are high functioning, so they know they are processing the world in a way that is different from how most people do and can describe what’s going on in their minds.
Fixing my Gaze: A Scientist’s Journey Into Seeing in Three Dimensions by Sue Barry. This is a personal account from a scientist who had crossed eyes her whole life, and at 48 went through vision therapy and learned to see using both eyes in stereo, therefore learning to see in 3D, which you can’t when your eyes are crossed. This may not seem so fascinating, but when your kid has crossed eyes, believe me, it is thrilling.