Cholita loves kindergarten. She lays out her uniform every night before going to bed, she writes little notes to her teacher, and she impatiently waits for that wonderful day when she'll get her first piece of homework. Another perk of school is that she's made several friends who she's pretty sure are her soul mates. The friend I heard about the most was a little girl who for the purposes of this blog we'll call Jordan. She gushed on a daily basis how Jordan was not only nice, but funny, great on the monkey bars, and had beautiful long blonde hair.
One day Cholita came out of class with a skip in her step and an envelope in her hand. Jordan was having a party. Could life get any better? At home, I read the invitation: Jordan is turning 6! Come help celebrate his birthday on......" I didn't even read the rest.
"Um, Cholita....." I wasn't quite sure how to say this. "Um, are you sure that Jordan is a girl?"
Cholita laughed. "Yes. She's a girl." Then she nervously added, "That's a weird thing to ask."
"Well, the invitation has the word "his" on it, which means boy."
She shrugged. "I guess her mom messed up when she was typing." She bit her fingernail, a habit she recently broke.
"Moms don't generally mess that up." I tried to say it as gently as I could. "Cholita, I'm pretty sure Jordan's a boy."
Angry tears welled up in her eyes. "Mom, SHE'S A GIRL!"
We talked about why she was so sure she was girl and it all came down to the long hair, which she said she always wore in a pony tail. I pointed out that sometimes boys wear ponytails, but she wouldn't hear of it. Then suddenly she gasped.
"Oh no! Mom, I just thought of something! She has....." she gulped like the words were too hard to spit out. "She has.......a baseball backpack!" That was the ultimate piece of evidence and she sobbed long and loud.
It's been a week now since her social world was rocked by this news, but only about 2 days since she's been able to use the masculine pronoun when referring to her friend. I am happy to say though, that they are still friends. Cholita has always had lots of friends who are boys and enjoys playing with boys, but I wasn't sure how a mental switcheroo would affect the relationship.
I finally got to see Jordan the other day when he was getting on the bus. The school dress code makes the clothing pretty gender neutral, so that's not a clear giveaway; unless of course, you're opting for the skirt or jumper. But the tan pants and a navy blue polo he was wearing could totally go either way.
Looking at her dear friend, even as an adult, the hairstyle would have completely thrown me off. It's not that it's just a ponytail. It's a double pony tail, with half of the hair pulled up on the top of his head, and the rest all gathered into a bouncy ponytail in the back. No wonder Cholita was confused.
After the initial shock, I'm proud that she's taken it in stride. "Well," she said, "I was going to get her......I mean him......a doll, but he said that he wants Star Wars legos." Then she laughed. "Yep, that means he's definitely a boy!"
P.S. No new news on the Olaf front. It's been hard. Like really hard. Like one of the top 10 hardest things I've dealt with in my mercifully easy life. It's not hard because he looks like he's in pain. As awful as that would be, it would make the decision easy. Or at least easier. It's hard because he's wagging his tail and giving us happy smiles and reveling in the most attention he's had in years, all while looking like a chemo patient. I hate this.
P.P.S. He's from a litter of 6 males and I know the status of 5 of those dogs. Literally within weeks of each other, THREE have been diagnosed with cancer, one put down only the day before we had Olaf at the vet. The mom dog died recently of old age at 11 long Berner years old. The dad died of cancer at 7. Unfortunately, the boys evidently take after Papa.