The Little White Christmas Tree

Biggest brother putting ornaments on the tree at age 5.

The last time I packed our Christmas tree into the box I didn’t know it was the last time.  We split in June that year.  I picked out some ornaments when we separated our things, but for the most part, I said goodbye to the shiny little trinkets I had picked out for our family.

That was a few years ago.  The first Christmas after that was pretty brutal.  I didn’t even take out the ornaments I had brought with me.  I made a fun arts and crafts type of tree for our then 2 year olds to play with, and when they went to her house to celebrate I turned to Lifetime movies and pie.  It was pretty cliche.

The next year I had a tiny 2 foot tree I bought on a whim at Target.  The kids had a blast making tiny ornaments and I didn’t worry about them knocking anything down too much.  I had a less sad Christmas that year.  It’s amazing what effect those colorful little lights have on a room.

Fast forward a bit and the scene unfolds in a way I never expected.

Youngest brother putting ornaments on the same tree at age 5.

This year my ex, her spouse, and I, along with our kids, pulled out that same old tree.  We put on ornaments from all over the place.  We redefined our traditions in our own unique way.  We successfully blended what we had once worked so tediously to separate.

An ornament broke.  The kids stayed up too late.  We made a huge mess.

It was pretty perfect.

Day 12…

Today is day 12 of entirely solo parenting.

Today I am so thankful for my coparents.

When we first split, I took the kids and moved.  I moved far enough away to not bump into each other in the grocery store.  To not worry about who hears and says and sees what.  I moved far enough away to give myself the time and space I needed to be mad and hurt and to process in my own way.

About a year later I moved back closer.   I had had my space.   I had felt my feelings.   I had healed some of what needed to be healed.   And I was SO sick of traffic during visits.


Another two years after that we moved even closer together.  My coparent and I, along with the new spouse had worked together to get things where and how they needed to be for the kids.  And quite frankly, for ourselves.

We stopped calling each other exes and started calling each other coparents.  We stopped worrying about parenting time lost and started focusing on how to better spend our time now.  And now we truly are a team.  A team that works so well, that we don’t even realize it sometimes.

So now that they have been away for TWELVE days, I can confidently say that as much as I am a single parent, I am also NOT a single parent.  Nor do I wish to be.  My kids do better when they have all of us.  We do better when we have all of us.  And while everyone survived this adventure, and even had fun, I’m happy that the other two-thirds of my team will be home tonight.

Una nueva propuesta sugiere agregar una categoría ‘X’ a los certificados de nacimiento de la ciudad de Nueva York


(NUEVA YORK) – Las personas nacidas en la ciudad de Nueva York que no identifiquen su sexo como hombres o mujeres tendrían la opción de elegir una tercera categoría para sus certificados de nacimiento bajo una nueva propuesta.
El alcalde Bill de Blasio y el presidente del Concejo Municipal Corey Johnson dijeron que la nueva categoría de “X” estaría disponible a través de la propuesta, que se espera sea presentada por Johnson el jueves con audiencias públicas que se realizarán a fines de este mes.
Actualmente, si los padres de un recién nacido no quieren identificar un sexo, pueden decir que el sexo del niño es indeterminado o desconocido. La categoría “X” sería algo que los adultos podrían elegir para su propio certificado de nacimiento.
Si se aprueba, la ciudad de Nueva York se uniría a California, Oregon y Washington para tener la tercera categoría en los certificados de nacimiento, mientras que Washington, D.C. lo permite en las licencias de conducir.

Ambos funcionarios electos notaron que junio es el mes del orgullo lésbico, gay, bisexual y transgénero.
“El mes del orgullo es un momento para celebrar cuán lejos hemos llegado en la lucha por la igualdad y reafirmar nuestro compromiso de proteger a todos los neoyorquinos de la discriminación”, dijo De Blasio, un demócrata. “Esta propuesta permitirá a los neoyorquinos transgénero y no conformistas de género vivir con la dignidad y el respeto que merecen y hacer que nuestra Ciudad sea más justa”.
Johnson dijo: “Esto se trata de hacer que sea más fácil para las personas ser quienes realmente son y dejarles saber que la ciudad de Nueva York los entiende y que les da la espalda”.
También se espera que el cambio se considere el 5 de junio en una reunión de la Junta de Salud, con una audiencia en julio y una votación en septiembre si la junta está de acuerdo. La legislación en el Concejo Municipal coincidirá con el lenguaje de la propuesta que la Junta de Salud está considerando.
“Los neoyorquinos transgénero, como todos los demás, deben tener certificados de nacimiento que reflejen su verdadera identidad de género”, dijo la doctora Mary Bassett, comisionada de salud de la ciudad. “Sabemos que ser capaz de vivir su auténtica expresión de género y género es fundamental para la salud física y mental. Ahora más que nunca, debemos asegurarnos de que todas las personas puedan vivir sus mejores y más saludables vidas “.  Johnson, un demócrata, también presentó una legislación en 2014 que eliminó el requisito de que una persona que busca cambiar su designación de género en un certificado de nacimiento se haya sometido a una cirugía de reasignación de sexo.

Pero incluso después de eso, el proceso aún requería que un profesional de la salud médica o mental completara una declaración jurada o afirmación que indicara que la identidad de género del solicitante se reflejaba más exactamente al cambiar la designación de género.

La legislación que se presentó esta semana también eliminaría ese requisito, y permitiría a las personas que solicitan el cambio presentar su propia declaración jurada diciendo que era para afirmar su identidad de género.


A New Proposal Suggests Adding ‘X’ Category to New York City Birth Certificates
June 4, 2018
(NEW YORK) — People born in New York City who do not identify their gender as either male or female would have the option of choosing a third category for their birth certificates under a new proposal.
Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson said the new category of “X” would be available through the proposal, which is expected to be introduced by Johnson on Thursday with public hearings to be held later this month.
Currently, if parents of a newborn do not want to identify a sex, they can say the sex of the child is undetermined or unknown. The “X” category would be something adults could choose for their own birth certificate.
If it passes, New York City would join California, Oregon and Washington in having the third category on birth certificates, while Washington, D.C. allows it on driver’s licenses.
Both elected officials noted that June is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month.
“Pride Month is a time to celebrate how far we’ve come in the fight for equality, and re-affirm our commitment to protecting all New Yorkers from discrimination,” de Blasio, a Democrat said. “This proposal will allow transgender and gender non-conforming New Yorkers to live with the dignity and respect they deserve, and make our City fairer.”
Johnson said, “This is about making it easier for people to be who they truly are and letting them know that New York City understands them and has their backs.”
The change also is expected to be considered on June 5 at a meeting of the Board of Health, with a hearing in July and a vote in September if the board agrees. The legislation in the City Council will match the language of the proposal that the Board of Health is considering.
“Transgender New Yorkers, like everyone else, should have birth certificates that reflect their true gender identity,” said Dr. Mary Bassett, the city’s health commissioner. “We know that being able to live your authentic gender and gender expression is critical to physical and mental health. Now more than ever, we must ensure that all people can live their best and healthiest lives.”
Johnson, a Democrat, also introduced legislation in 2014 that removed a requirement for a person looking to change his or her gender designation on a birth certificate to have undergone sex reassignment surgery.
But even after that, the process still required a medical or mental health professional to fill out an affidavit or affirmation saying the applicant’s gender identity was more accurately reflected by changing the gender designation.
The legislation being introduced this week also would remove that requirement, and allow people filing for the change to submit their own affidavit saying it was to affirm their gender identity.