Spawning Generations by Sadie Epstein-Fine

Spawning Generations by Sadie Epstein-Fine

Author:Sadie Epstein-Fine
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Demeter Press
Published: 2018-05-29T04:00:00+00:00

13.

Leslie’s Girl

JESSICA EDWARDS

“YOU’LL BE A WOMAN all the time, but you’ll still be a man on my wedding day … right?” I was only thirteen years old at the time, and was barely beginning to reach a surface understanding of what having a transsexual parent was going to mean to my life. More than any other aspect though, my future wedding day remained central to my concerns—from day one until nineteen years later when I was walking down the aisle. And the centrepiece of my wedding was my daddy. As far back as I can remember, there was never a point that my daddy wasn’t my everything. He was the calming force when chaos struck; I trusted, respected, and admired him implicitly. I remember once after a bad bike accident, I demanded to walk the twenty minutes in agonizing pain to have my father clean my badly scraped knees and elbows instead of making the much shorter five-minute walk back to my mother’s house. I would endure the throbbing sting of a splinter for days if need be, all to wait until my dad could take it out. If I couldn’t get that one day, that one perfect moment in time, where I got to be the magical, fabled “daddy’s girl” well then, what was the point in getting married at all? I wanted our friends and family to see how our love radiated and how it brought them to tears.

You would expect, as is usually the case in the fabled daddy’s-girl relationship between father and daughter, that I will tell you about how my father always doted on me, coddled me, praised me. That I had my daddy wrapped around my little finger. The truth is I was never the golden child, although my every waking moment was filled with the yearning to have that special bonded relationship. Unfortunately for me, though, that blind, everlasting doting devotional love only went one way. If anything, I always felt that I could never live up to my father’s expectations. Growing up, I truly thought that if only I was something other than me— better, brighter, cuter, sweeter, younger, older, funnier, smarter, dumber—that one day I could earn that coveted place in my father’s heart. From birth, our brains are programmed to not only notice everything but find a label, a category, for it. I knew that “putty in your hands” and “melts like butter” meant daddy’s-girl love. I knew what I had was anything but.

As a kid, I would try desperately to make my daddy laugh and giggle with butterfly kisses. It never really worked. My whole childhood was filled with the little games I would play, trying to get a reaction from tickles, jokes, or tricks. I would think I was so hilarious. I would think that this time I would get a reaction and that this time I would win the game. I always walked away disappointed, my heart in tatters. Why wouldn’t he play along like the other fathers did? All I wanted was my daddy’s approval.



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