By Patrice Langford
My middle son Jayden is a picture of happiness and light. He’s also a true to form Aries. We call him our little tornado because if Jayden is touching it or in the room, it will probably be trashed afterwards. Jayden is currently trying to figure out who he is and we are doing everything that we can to be there for him and give him confidence to be who he was born to be.
When I was pregnant with Jayden I was going through a rough time with my ex-husband. He had cheated on me while I was pregnant and thought that he could cover it up. Yeah, not so much. While I was pregnant, I was sure that I was pregnant with a girl. When we went into the ultrasound to find out the sex of the baby we were told that we were having another boy. I was very confused by this because I felt that I was pregnant with a girl, that I asked the ultrasound tech if she was certain more than once before we left that office. Unconvinced, I thought that maybe she had just gotten it wrong. So I waited to give birth to meet my “daughter,” as I thought.
When I went into labor and Jayden came out I was very surprised to find that I had in fact had a boy. I tried to put the feeling that I was supposed to have a girl out of my mind. Four hours after I had Jayden, I had my tubes tied. We went home the next day and carried on with life as we had before. I filed for divorce from my husband when Jayden was two months old after a huge fight at my husband’s parent’s house.
As the years went on Jayden grew as all kids do, and we started to notice that he liked to wear my high heels and shirts. I am not one of the parents that freaks out when their son picks up a doll because it is perfectly normal. When Jayden turned two, I found out that I was pregnant again and this time it was with a girl. My daughter is tall for her age and is now about the same size in clothes as Jayden.
Jayden is now seven and he is in love with all things “girly.” Last Christmas was the first year that we bought him all girl toys and he was elated. Him and Skyla (his sister) are close and they fight like sisters would. Jayden has his own girl clothes and he wears them on a daily basis.
However, we do not allow him to wear the girl clothes outside or to school because of the neighborhood that we live in. We tried it before and it ended with Jayden running home crying because of the hurtful things that the other kids and adults said to him. Yes, that is right, I have had other adults say terrible things to my son and me just because he likes to wear girl clothes. I have also had adults say terrible things to me about my parenting skills and about my child being weird. I always say the same thing to everyone:
Just because I am Jayden’s mother DOES NOT mean that I can tell him who he is or isn’t. God gave me this child so that I can hold him up when he is feeling exhausted from the world being on his shoulders. I am his mother because God knew that I would be someone that would make him know that he is perfectly normal, no matter what others think.
It hurts my heart to remember the times that he asks me and Joe (my husband and Jayden’s stepdad) if there is something wrong with him, being the way that he is. We make sure that he knows that he is just special and exactly the way that God meant for him to be. Being a parent means being there for your children no matter what, not only when they are doing what society thinks they should be doing. There are so many things in this world that have our children believing that just because they are different they are automatically an abomination – and that’s wrong.
I will always stand with my children. Jayden teaches everyone who meets him that just because he wears “girl’s” clothes, it doesn’t mean that he is weird or that it’s going to rub off on other kids.
He is one of the sweetest kids I have ever met. He loves animals and loves to compliment anyone he can. He is just a slightly out of the ordinary kid trying to live in a world where being different is seen as a sin. We will continue to stand with him. He may grow out of this phase, which a lot of people have tried to tell me will happen, and if he doesn’t, oh well. Jayden is Jayden and we will do everything in our power to help him stay on the “Jayden tracks,” wherever they may lead him in life.