August in the Midwest can be a relatively gentle time on the farm despite the ripening of much of the produce. Kitchens are busy with canning tomatoes as quick as they drop from the vine and between the sounds of back porch corn shucking and the screen door slamming, batches of apple butter and fruit preserves are being put up to carry the family through until next season. Mason jars still warm from the pressure cooker and rich with the colors and the labors of the season are taken down the road and exchanged with neighbors and relatives amid bushels of tomatoes and apples and that oft repeated “just won’t be able to get to all this” during gravel driveway conversations of catching up that last just long enough to stay on top of the latest and are always cut short because, “you know how it is. Got to get back to it.”
A few days ago, as I checked most of my self-assigned coronavirus projects off my list I took advantage of a free offer to watch a documentary for which I’d neglected making time to see in the theaters last year. As much as I knew I needed to see it and wanted to see it, I also thought it would be a difficult 95 minutes of viewing. I can’t remember any other film that I ever had the same hesitation. Watching it at home seemed a better plan since I could pause the show whenever I wanted.
We are at the
end of another year and another decade. It’s that week leading up to the start
of a new year. It’s that week when many take stock of what they’d planned to
accomplish, what they actually accomplished, and what will roll over to the new
list of plans likely to never be crossed off or the boxes ticked.
When I was just weeks shy of three years old, I was hanging
around the house with my mom doing the stuff that toddlers do, I guess. It was
mid-morning on a warm spring day and I was bored and tired of playing with
whatever age acceptable toys had been placed in front of me. My mom must have
been focused on my sisters at the time – one was older and the other younger
than I – because she didn’t notice at first that I’d made an all-important
decision to find something else to do. I’d always preferred to be with my dad
and that day was no different. Dads always did the cool stuff and I wanted to
do cool stuff with my dad instead of the usual toddler stuff. I knew he was at
work and lucky for me, his work was right next door. So I decided I was going
to go to work.
trans boys want the same things as any other boys growing up. I was no
different. I liked being outside and getting dirty and I wouldn’t be surprised
if I’d have broken records for wearing through the knees of my jeans. I’m
pretty sure I mastered that challenge with a record time of less than two weeks
to wear holes in at least one of the knees. Oh, and the patches that my mom
sewed on them usually “fell off” in even less time than that! Everyone knows
that cowboys do not wear patches on their jeans!