As you may know, Bailey considers herself a ‘boygirl’ and looks like a boy to those who’ve just met her. Which can be confusing to people in her class. Jess and I are trying our best to just give Bailey space to be who she is. In the meantime, she has an extraordinary teacher who respects Bailey’s gender fluidity and has experience with this sort of thing. So it was really heartwarming to have received this lovely note from Mrs. J yesterday:
Hello Ben and Jessica,
Just wanted to send you a note about your amazing Bailey. The day before the student of the month celebration, a friend at her table said something like, “It’s so cool that brother and sister get to be students of the month together!” And Bailey and I smiled and nodded because it IS really cool that they were recognized at the same time. I didn’t say anything about them being sisters to the other student and neither did Bailey.
I pulled Bailey aside later and asked how she felt about that (she said she was fine with it) and I asked if she would have preferred for me to have told the other student that they are sisters and she said no, that she didn’t want me to. I asked if she wanted me to correct students if they said “he” or “him” and she said no. I try not to use any pronouns when talking about Bailey so that no one tries to correct me. If I say “she,” someone will say, “you mean he” and I don’t want that to be awkward for Bailey. I just thought you might want to know. Please let me know if Bailey says anything about gender and school that you think I should know about.
She and Netta continue play together and with other students. They both seem to be having a good time and are advancing academically as well. They are always among the first students to follow directions. And they are self-sufficient – especially with putting on their outdoor stuff, zipping coats, etc. They both make a lot of connections to the texts, songs and poems we are reading in class. I’ve noticed that Bailey catches on with math really quickly and seems to have an big interest in it. Netta is so excited to read to me and loves pointing out when she recognizes something we are talking about.
So basically, your kids are great! I appreciate all you are doing/have done to prepare them for kindergarten. Looking forward to seeing them in the new year!