Copyright© 2011 Angharad
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I looked at the two lots of pills locked in the medicine cupboard—Trish’s soya based plant phtyogens, and Billie’s estradiol. The two girls had been quite upset for me to stop them, after all they’d waited for ever to have them, according to them they had. So it came as no surprise that they cried and sulked when I told them Dr Rose had been upset with me for allowing them to be taken—I wasn’t aware what he wanted blood tests for—to set baselines for a few things including hormones.
I assured them after the blood tests were taken, that they’d be able to continue taking their pills, providing Dr Rose agreed. The proviso was the problem, I had no control or idea what he was likely to say.
It transpired the following week that he was happy for them to start again, except rather than Trish have the phytogens, once he saw what the levels were he might prescribe very low dose oestrogen. This would mean seeing him the week after Easter, during which there were going to be bank holidays galore and some young couple were apparently getting married on the telly. I wish them well but am not sure about exhibitionists, especially from that family.
I had to plan what we’d need to eat over the holiday. The supermarkets are closed on Easter Sunday—and on Christmas Day as well. I don’t have a problem with it, except they don’t shut for other denominational festivals, so why these two pagan ones? Though this one is linked to Passover, but in being linked to phases of the moon, it betrays its origins—Eostre—a fertility goddess, and you wonder why you roll eggs and so on? Each to his own I suppose.
I was irritated when Trish asked if we were going to church at Easter—I had no such plans. When I asked why, she told me the school expected it.
I tried to explain that although I allowed her religious education because it was a condition of the school attendance—and if you remember, no other school wanted to take her—I hadn’t agreed to attendance at religious ceremonies outside school.
If any of my kids decided they believed in something or other, I wouldn’t stop them enrolling in their chosen mythology, however, I wasn’t going to play myself except to allow them to experience a service—at least in Christian churches—I wasn’t sure if the other ones allowed curious bystanders to come and watch.
“So may we go to church on Easter?” she asked.
I felt really uncomfortable in going myself because it would be under false pretences. I knew what went on in Anglican ceremonies—I’d been confirmed, and yet had rejected it since.
“Perhaps Gramps would take you, he goes sometimes,” I thought I’d found a get out, Daddy did go for things like Easter and Christmas and occasionally other times. He was a sort of believer—hedging his bets, perhaps to protect his deceased family—believe in an afterlife and they might just be there waiting for you. I don’t know if he’d had any experiences of unworldly things—I’d had a few as I’ve documented here—although I’m quite happy to suggest they are almost certainly of an internal dialogue mechanism in our own minds—that’s how I understood my various dreams in which my mother appeared. Dreams—nothing more—unless some form of self-delusion is acceptable as a description.
“I’d like you to take us, Mummy.”
“Because you’re my Mummy.”
“But Gramps goes more often than I do, and has some sort of religious belief, I don’t, and I certainly wouldn’t go to a Catholic church.”
“No, that’s okay, you can take me to any church, I don’t mind.”
“Why d’you want to go?”
“I want to see the man change water into the blood of Jesus.”
“Um—it’s wine they do it with, and it’s symbolic not actual.”
She looked confused by my statement. I tried again.
“The priest blesses the bread and wine and it symbolically becomes the body and blood of Jesus.”
“I thought it was magic—an’ they like turned into blood and skin.”
“No, it’s all symbolic—they give you a tiny little piece of a wafer—like rice paper and in Anglican churches a sip of watered down wine. In Catholic churches, the priest drinks all the wine, I think.”
“What? You eat and drink it?” she sounded horrified.
“Yeah, of course you do.”
“You eat and drink Jesus’s blood and skin?”
“Metaphorically, yes. It’s all symbolic and supposed to be happening on a spiritual plane not the mundane one.”
She looked blankly at me. How come she can get her head round E=mc2 but not this stuff? It’s all hypothetical.
“It’s all about cannonballs,” she said pulling a face. “Yuck—I don’t wanna eat anybody.”
“You don’t actually eat anyone, you just pretend you are.”
“That’s silly.” She was beginning to see where I was coming from.
“No that’s faith, believing in things which defy logic.”
“It means believing in things which can’t actually be shown.”
That’s right, Trish, pick an easy one—shit.
“Yeah like electricity—you can’t see it, but as soon as I flick this switch you know the light will come on—unless there’s a problem like the bulb has blown. But you know that ninety nine times out of a hundred, the light will come on if you press the switch.”
“Is that the electricity that comes out?”
“No you can’t see it, and I’m not sure we know how it works, but what you see is light produced in old fashioned bulbs by the element glowing hot, so they gave off heat and light. These new ones don’t get so hot.”
“Is that why they're dimmer?” she asked.
“Gramps says they are, which is why he won’t let you put them in his study.”
We were now going off tangent and I tried to go back to the subject. “Anyway, we know that when we connect a supply of electricity to a light bulb it will produce light almost every time. So we have some circumstantial evidence, and it can be replicated—done anywhere—using the same sort of equipment.”
“I can see it, Mummy, like your blue light.”
Some days I wished I’d stayed in bed. “Um—I’m not sure I understand that—the blue light I mean.”
“But you can replicate it, can’t you?”
“Sometimes, darling, I don’t have control over it, so it isn’t quite the same as flicking a switch.”
“Can you make some blue light now?”
“I dunno—to make me more of a girl.”
“Trish, you’re already as much of a girl as any other or as anyone can make you. The blue light won’t do that.”
“How d’ya know?”
I didn’t—I honestly didn’t.
“I don’t know exactly, I’m just going on past experience.”
“So it could happen?” she asked excitedly.
“I doubt it, darling, because not being a biological female isn’t being sick, it’s just a variation on a norm.”
“Will you try it?”
“I really don’t know if I should,” I didn’t believe any harm could happen but I couldn’t see how any good would either. I felt if anything did, it would just be some form of consolation which would stop her seeing herself as incomplete. I couldn’t see her have a DNA switch or suddenly grow ovaries and so on.
“Will you do it them, Mummy? Make me a proper girl.”
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