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Sept. 11, 2012

September 11, 2012

Back from Phoenix/Scottsdale. We stayed with our niece and her 4-year-old daughter and 16-month-old son. (My nephew was actually in California for a job interview.) So our niece, grandniece and grandnephew met Mara for the first time. Our niece was so accepting, and our grandniece was a little doll! She called Mara by her name sometimes and by her former, male name a few times; and Mara made a game of it, saying things like, “Who’s that guy?” Lots of giggles from the little one, and she’s getting it.

We also visited another niece while there. She is in overwhelm, finishing up her schooling to get her teaching credential while packing to move out of state. We had brunch on Sunday with her, along with her 5-year-old daughter and her mom (my sister, who is staying with them to help her pack and take care of her daughter, since my niece’s husband has already been out of state because of his new job). So they all met Mara for the first time, too. My sister is the first of my siblings to have met Mara. She was so nice about it, she even hugged her. I hope the rest of my siblings can come to some sort of acceptance. I had talked on the phone with my sister about a week or two ago, and even though she acknowledged that it’s up to the parents of children regarding if and when they tell their kids about Mara, I felt she may have had some trepidation about her 5-year-old granddaughter meeting Mara. But the little one called Mara by her name every time except once, and she was just as playful and outgoing to us, giving us hugs, etc. She even wanted to sit next to Mara at brunch, and Mara helped her with the word games that were on her kiddie place mat that the restaurant provides.

So, short-story-long, we didn’t see any ill effects on kids when they met and spent time with Mara. They both know that the person who was once their granduncle is now their grandaunt, and they are handling it extremely well. And I’m not worried about our 16-month-old grandnephew. He’s too young to remember who his granduncle was; he’ll only know Mara. (BTW, he’s a very happy, fun baby. What a charmer!)

This just in: Mara got a call from the surgeon’s office this afternoon. Her facial feminization surgery is set for a week before Christmas. Looks like we’ll be spending the holidays in the Phoenix area. We love the Arizona Biltmore (with Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired architecture), and the rates there are pretty low over the Christmas holiday. So that’s where we’ll plan to spend those couple of days (after a week at a limited-service hotel closer to the hospital). This surgery will be the best Christmas present Mara ever got. Me? I got my present nearly 19 years ago when we met.

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