I felt a space opening inside of me... And I breathed in deep and held just as instructed. I was having my second child but the first one through this natural space made for such things. "Don't push," my doctor said. That was more than a notion because everything in me wanted to bear down even my eyebrows were calling for it. The furrowing of the brow as you concentrate all of your efforts in the pushing out into the world this life that had grown safely inside of me for 9 months.
But I did as instructed and I didn't push. You see my doctor knew there is something else that happens when you don't push. You allow the space for your body to relax and loosen itself and open up to make room for this grand entrance.
This allowing...this letting...this releasing allows for the possibility of no tearing and ripping to happen. Later the nurses marveled at this moment as my new baby lay contentedly on my chest. They praised my doctor for his knowingness for his patience and his kindness in doing this thing. No episiotomy was necessary and no tearing took place at the birth.
I was sitting and listening.. a family meeting had been called by my eldest. And I think I just heard my child say that the name they had chosen for themselves was Zion. That they did not identify with being a girl anymore but with being a boy.
I breathed in deep and held just as I had grown accustomed to doing when things felt hard.
And I did not bear down. I did not furrow my brow and try with all of my might to push away this new idea, with all of my questions which would only serve to negate the moment.
"Zion" ohh how I love that name I couldn't help but let that thought tiptoe into my consciousness. After all It was one of the names listed in their baby book before I knew if I was having a girl or a boy. I repeated the name in my head..."Zion"
And I felt a space open up inside of me. I sat still in the new space and allowed room for my child to speak their truth. My daughter.. my child.. was claiming a space for themselves and this space was making room for "Him".
Him, I repeated in my mind. My mind started to gallop again with questions... but I held fast to the reigns and instead I focused my attention on my child's face. That beautiful face that I knew oh so well.
My child's face said, "See me, be here with me right now Mom, I need you". I could see the mixture of fear and self-determination and I eased my face even a degree more. No ripping or tearing at this birth either I determined. I could feel the hubby and I united in our being in our allowing in our listening to our child.
The youngest always wise beyond his years assisted in the birth. "Mom and Dad you've always told us we are spirit beings having a physical body...well what does it matter what body we are in male or female. You guys have taught us it matters only what is inside. The spirit remains the same...right, so Naya or Zion we still have the same member of our family right"?
Freedom. It's the thing that we all grapple with, reach for, desire deeply.
Physical, Mental and Emotional freedom. Whether we know it or not this struggle is always present.
The freedom to be ourselves. Whatever that means, moment to moment. To pick our career. To pick who we love. The freedom to pick our religion The freedom to live in our truth.
And none of the above means anything without the first freedom of just body. To come and go as determined by ourselves. To name ourselves.
I consider myself a social activist. Using my voice to fight for freedom, justice, and equality. That we live this in our own home is paramount. For what good is this idea outside if you can't practice it inside.
Now the idea that you are safe in your freedom is the gripper. To know that you can choose different from those around you and that you will not be persecuted for your beliefs bullied because of your sexual orientation or shunned because of your religious beliefs well that is the real test of just how free you are.
This moment that I was living would show me just how evolved and grownup I was. Evolved enough to not need a kid in your own image. Grownup enough to not need their accomplishments, their, beauty their prowess to validate my own.
In theory so easy...but when it is your child who you have raised with the highest hopes and dreams. When your child is asking for the freedom that you speak so highly of. The freedom to be themselves without being shamed bullied or shunned by me. Could I do that? Me the person who longed for a girl to dress and fix their hair and be girly with. Did I not want a cheerleader to proudly watch in the stands, or a prom dress to shop for. Or hey they could be a tomgirl like me. But not a girl at all. I held my breath and I did not push. I focused again on my child's face. And I really saw them with all of the courage, strength, and determination that this moment took.
I remembered their sad awkwardness of not finding their place in middle school. My honor roll, gifted artist, Deans list kid who hadn't found a friend group to call their own. I listened and felt the space widen within me even that bit more to include how they now saw themselves. What new truth had spoken to them. And I knew nothing would ever be more important in their lives no matter where it takes them then the feeling that they had right now at this moment. What the eyes of their parents conveyed to them right now.
as our whole family embraced one another we cemented in our hearts and consciousness what we would forever know... that in this family you are SEEN, HEARD and you MATTER just as you are.
In this house, you are loved and free to be yourself.
We proudly introduce you to our son Zion.