Incident with a Baby
An incident between a Transwoman and a Baby
This past Friday night we had a Kaballat Shabbat service followed by dinner. Because of my dietary needs that involve allergies some of the other women cooked for me special. After the Kiddush and blessing over the bread I got up to get a small drink and retrieve my special food.
On the way I met a man holding his daughter. She was cute in her pajamas.
“Hello, little one,” I said to this baby. “What is your name?”
“Rachel,” replied the father.
“How old are you?”
She started to cry.
“What is wrong, little one?” I asked.
“She is tired.”
“You are fighting sleep?” I asked.
She gave me a frown that was threatening to become a cry.
“I’ll sing to you,” I told her. “Would that help?”
“She likes singing.”
I sang “Summertime” from Porgy and Bess. That kept her quiet for about two minutes. When I stopped she threatened to cry again. I stated to talk to her again and she stuck out her hand.
“I’ll take you, if daddy lets me.” I replied.
He gave her to me. As I rocked her I stated to hum “Erev Shel Shoshaneem,” “Evening of the Roses,” an Israeli love song that has a soothing melody.
I must have hummed that song a dozen times. She eventually fell asleep. With the help of her father and mother I put her in her stroller. The parents thanked me and I started to walk away. There were tears in my eyes. They were flowing by the time I sat down at my chair. A few of the other women whom I am closer to came over to me and asked me what was wrong.
“This is the first time I held a child this small in decades.”
“You miss that,” Esther explained.
I nodded my head and blew my nose, “It hurts, but there is more. A baby that small or a woman pregnant, hurts.”
Miriam, who is beginning to show, gave a gasp and held her hand to her mouth. I held her hand.
“I am still happy for you. My pain and jealousy is usually under control, but please understand that because I am a transwoman I have never nor will ever experience the joys of giving birth.”
That brought Deborah to tears. She needed to have a hysterectomy about a year ago because of a major complication with her pregnancy that threatened her life.
I held her, “I know how you feel. You are one of the few women here who truly understands. You know, there is one good thing about me asking Hashem to make me a mother. He did grant my request. However, He granted it under the rules He made for this universe. I now have dozens of virtual daughters from Britain and Spain through North America to Australia, even a grandchild or two, and I love them all.
In the morning I woke up hugging my second pillow.
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