You don’t say?!

One of the things that the universe is really good at doing is forcing you to belly up to the table. Some people call it Karma, others the Golden Rule and still others, usually grandparents, they call it, “children of your own.”

Regardless of the name, the situation is very similar – Do you walk the walk, or only talk the talk? Do you only give lip service to your convictions or are you actually willing to live them and experience the consequences there of? As Scott Bakula would say, “Oh boy.”

I usually present myself as somebody that listens to all sides and then makes a decision. I’m the guy that tries to eliminate prejudices in favor of the rational and successful argument. I dislike one sided views. As such, I often say things like – Show me the numbers, the evidence. Let’s hear what the other side has to say. On the other hand…

You know, be informed and reasonable. Not every situation has two or more reasonable sides, any married couple will tell you this, I don’t need to provide examples. But I do try to understand the various sides of a situation before forming a solid opinion. I speak out against things like prejudice, hegemony and emotional vs rational thought while being aware that I’m capable of all those things and more. I’m not impartial but I try very hard to be fair and honest, with others, if not myself.

So, the other day one of my children reaches out to me to tell me they are experiencing gender dysphoria, and have been for several years. Historically, I’ve been an advocate and supporter of the concept. Beyond even the idea of more than 2 sexes, I’ve championed the view that human beings encompass more than just the gender we commonly acknowledge at birth. But it has been primarily an academic and social issue, not a personal one.

Let me tell you, you can read all the things you want, talk with all the groups you want, but the moment you actually have a personal experience with a heretofore previously intellectual concept…well, let me tell you, that becomes something a little bit different. As a parent, you love your child. You have no idea how they’ll turn out, you do your best and promise to be there for them, but slot machines have better and more accurate prognostication skills than you do when it comes to your children. More so, they’re your children for only a short amount of time and then they belong wholly unto themselves. So you had better do your best without expecting any return whatsoever.

No pressure.

Also, you may be on the minority side of society at the drop of the cosmic hat. Who knew?

I hope you brought something more than just a few platitudes and that one article from Maxim magazine. If you’re going to be a real parent, you’re going to have to bring your A game, maybe better.

So here I am, trying to navigate waters I’d only previously read about. Trying to handle the emotions, realities and arguments of all parties involved while bringing myself up to speed on remarkably new facets of life and society I was only slightly aware of. It’s very hard to be the understanding dad with all, or even just a few, answers, when you’re no longer even sure you speak the language. The universe is immense, scary, full of promise and threat. Now imagine that to someone even smaller than you. That’s what a parent is to a child.

Don’t expect the unexpected, for that is easy. Expect that which you already know, but only indifferently, for that will be the thing that overwhelms you.

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About Dan Granot

I chose the Shorter Whitman because of his work, "Song of Myself" and because of my self-deprecating sense of humor. I am under no illusion that I can write successful essays or poetry, but I have been known to write them anyway.

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