The summer holidays with a child is 50% easier for the freelancer should they have been through an amicable divorce. My boy finished school on Friday, and I have him till August the 14th, after which I can get back to work.
I say, “The Boy”: he told me he might want to be a girl yesterday, during a potter round Chorlton. He’s regularly mistaken for a girl and he…confessed is a bit strong…said he wouldn't mind being my daughter after all. We go through a small amount of eye-rolling theatre every time he’s miss-gendered, but he said he kind of likes it.
This didn’t come out of the blue to send the days tramp into new, untraversed, paths. He’s been wearing nail varnish on and off for a few years. He’s been wearing a dress on occasional ‘own clothes days’ at school. When he was three, he said he wanted to “live in a town called bum-bum where he could slide down big willies”. And a fortnight ago he asked his Head if he could wear a dress on a regular school day. To his credit, his Headteacher said he can wear what he wants as long as it’s school uniform.
Yesterday followed a similar pattern to the beginning of other school breaks. A minor ‘treat blitz’ day during which I spend a bit of money on a treat or three in one day to blind him to the fact we revert to a Victorian lifestyle the day after. After a bowl of Pho, we went dress shopping. He tried three on in a charity shop before choosing one in a closing down sale. I’m super proud when we’re out in public and he’s in a flouncy dress
His Nan (my mum) is being very cool about The Boy’s trajectory into musical theatre. She’s super anxious about him getting bullied, and presents opposing theories to any proposed, by him or us, that he might be trans, but she loves him dearly, and came around today with two dresses that she’d bought for him. He loved them both.
The issue of him potentially being trans isn't one I’m taking too seriously right now. The Boy, despite suffering from anxiety, is happy, outgoing, popular and doing well in school. If he was desperately unhappy in his current shell then I’d be worried.
Today was the Northwest Zine Fest at the People’s History Museum in Manchester. I was hoping to take the boy, assuming he might find some queer zines that he’d like. It’s been relentlessly raining all day and we stayed indoors instead. As a self-publishing artist, I totally failed him as a father today. But look at it outside!
The Boy goes away with his Nan for four days next week, during which I have to cane the writing for my Masters. One edition of the book is done, and I can comfortably make a new edition in one day. They can wait till September now. If I get the writing done right, then I have a good chance of finishing my Masters with a distinction, and I’ve never got top marks at anything, so as sad as that may be, that’s very important to me.
He goes back to his mum’s in the middle of august, at which time my girlfriend will be in France, so I’ll just have Special Agent Dale Cooper, our puppy, to look after whilst I write. I don’t function well on my own but I’m hoping the puppy keeps me on the right track.
I’m trying to write more, which is why this is here. I enjoyed the writing process of Ill Architecture, and want to keep practicing so I’m still fresh when I start the next book project.
If you got this far, thanks very much. It’s been a rainy day and I’ve not done much. I hope the post will get better with practice.