“Begonia is a boy.” She says.
We’re, once again, sprawled across my bed. Begonia happens to be the seahorse with the glowing tummy that we got her for her first Christmas. I had always imagined Begonia as girl.
“How do you know?” I’m a tiny bit doubting as I don’t really think Begonia is a boy. Begonia is a girls name, even if the darned seahorse is a teal-ish blue.
“He has a tail.” She points out the tail to me.
Not only does Begonia have a tail. His tail curls forward. Cringe. Oh, dear. This is probably the start of the concept of gender identity. Which means that today is the day that I actively start worrying about all the things that I don’t want to have to worry about.
Gender identity. Sexuality. Sex education. Dating. Birth Control. All of it rolls through my head at lightening speed.
“Boys have tails?” I ask gently, trying to ascertain if this is just a guess or the true beginning of awareness of the difference between boys and girls.
She laughs. “No, boys don’t have tails. They ‘ave bottoms. You’re silly.”
“Oh, good.” I reply.
I still know that a day is coming where that nascent thought will develop into awareness and the conversations we’ve been having about privates belonging only to her will need to extend to clothes needing to stay on and other necessary social conventions.
I’m preparing myself for the hard talks, because even though she laughs today. Boys do, in a manner of speaking, have tails.