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一年级时,我儿子穿上裙子变成了“她”

更新时间:2016-9-20 18:31:55 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

From He to She in First Grade
一年级时,我儿子穿上裙子变成了“她”

When our son turned 6, my husband and I bought him a puppet theater and a chest of dress-up clothes because he liked to put on plays. We filled the chest with 20 items from Goodwill, mostly grown-man attire: ties, button-down shirts, a gray pageboy cap and a suit vest.

儿子满六岁时,我和丈夫给他买了一个木偶剧院,还有一衣柜的盛服,因为他喜欢穿戏装演戏。我们在衣柜里装了20件从Goodwill二手店买回来的的衣服,大都是成年男人的服装:领带、领尖带纽扣的衬衫、一顶灰色的听差帽,还有一件马甲。

But we didn’t want his or his castmates’ creative output to be curtailed by a lack of costume choices, so we also included high heels, a pink straw hat, a dazzling fairy skirt and a sparkly green halter dress.

我们不想他和一起过家家的小伙伴因为戏服种类不多而限制了自己的创意,于是我们还买了高跟鞋、一顶粉红色草帽、一条亮闪闪的仙女裙和一条耀眼的绿色露背裙。

He was thrilled with these presents. He put on the sparkly green dress right away. In a sense, he never really took it off.

这些礼物让他兴奋不已,他立刻穿上了那条亮绿的裙子。从某种意义上来说,他再也没有把它脱下来过。

For a while, he wore the dress only when we were at home, and only when we were alone. He would change back into shorts and a T-shirt if we were running errands or had people coming over.

有那么一段时间,他只是在家里,在我们单独相处的时候才穿上那条裙子。如果我们要出门办事,或者有人来家里拜访时就换上短裤和T恤。

Then we would come home or our guests would leave, and he would change back to the sparkly green dress, asking me to tie the halter behind his neck and the sash around his waist.

等我们一回家,或者客人一走,他就会换回那条亮闪闪的绿裙子,让我帮他系好挂脖吊带和腰带。

Eventually he stopped changing out of it. He wore it to the grocery store and when he had friends over. He wore it to the park and the lake. He wore shorts for camp and trunks for swimming, but otherwise he was mostly in the dress.

最后他不再换了。去杂货店买东西、在家里见朋友的时候,他都穿着它。逛公园、去湖边的时候也穿着它。露营时他穿短裤,游泳时他穿泳裤,但其余大部分时间里,他都穿着那条裙子。

My husband and I were never of the opinion that girls should not wear pants or climb trees or get dirty, or that boys should not have long hair or play with dolls or like pink, so the dress did not cause us undue alarm or worry. But school was about to start, and we found ourselves at a crossroads.

我和丈夫从来不觉得女孩就不能穿长裤、爬树,把自己弄得脏兮兮,也不觉得男孩就不能留长发、玩娃娃,喜欢粉红色,所以这条裙子并没让我们过分警惕或是担忧。但是学校要开学了,我们发现自己置身十字路口。

It seemed reasonable to say: “Wear whatever you’re comfortable in to school. If that’s what you want to wear, you don’t have to keep changing in and out of it.”

这样说似乎很合理:“穿着让你觉得舒服的衣服去上学就好。如果你想穿这件衣服就用不着换来换去。”

But it also seemed reasonable to say: “Dresses are for play at home only. The dress is fun, but you can’t wear it to first grade.”

但是这样说似乎也很合理:“裙子是在家里玩的时候穿的。这条裙子很好玩,但不能穿着去上一年级。”

The former had the advantage of being fair, what we believed, and what would make our child happiest. The latter had the advantage of being much less fraught.

前一种说法的优点是公平,我们相信公平,这也是最能让我们的孩子开心的办法。后一种说法的优点则是不会带来太多麻烦。

So we asked him, “What do you think you’ll do with your dress when school starts in a couple weeks?” We said: “You need new clothes for the new school year. What should we buy?”

于是我们问他:“再过几个星期就开学了,你打算拿你的裙子怎么办?”我们还说:“开学后你需要新衣服,想让我们买什么?”

For weeks, he wasn’t sure.

几个星期里他都举棋不定。

And then, on the day before school started, he was.

开学前一天,他拿定了主意。

I later learned that this is remarkably common, that children who make decisions like this often do so as push comes to shove. They achieve clarity when they are faced with two not-great options.

我后来才明白,这种情况很常见,孩子们在做这种决定的时候都是到压力变大时才会下决心。面对两个都不怎么样的选择,他们的想法会清晰起来。

Our child could go to school dressed in shorts and a T-shirt and feel wrong and awkward and not himself. Or he could wear what felt right and possibly face the wrath of his fellow elementary-school students.

我的孩子可以穿短裤和T恤去上学,然后觉得浑身不对劲、不自在,根本不是他自己。他也可以穿上觉得自在的衣服去上学,但又可能会面对小学同学们的怒气。

When he woke up on that last day of summer vacation, the first thing he said was that he wanted to wear skirts and dresses to first grade.

暑假最后一天早上,他起床后第一句话就是说他想穿裙子去上一年级。

“O.K.,” I said, stalling for time, as my brain flooded with all the concerns I hadn’t yet voiced. “What do you think other kids will say tomorrow if you wear a dress to school?”

“好的,”我顿了一下,脑子里涌上各种我尚未说起过的担心。“你觉得如果明天你穿裙子去上学,别的孩子们会怎么说?”

“They’ll say, ‘Are you a boy or a girl?’” he replied. “They’ll say: ‘You can’t wear that. Boys don’t wear dresses.’ They’ll say, ‘Ha, ha, ha, you’re so stupid.’”

“他们会说,‘你是男孩还是女孩?’”他答道。“他们会说:‘你不能穿这个,男孩不能穿裙子。’他们会说,‘哈哈哈,你真傻气。’”

This seemed about right to me. “And how will that make you feel?” I asked.

我觉得这些听上去都很正常。“那你听了以后会觉得怎样?”我问。

He shrugged and said he didn’t know. But he did know, with certainty, what he wanted to wear to school the next day, even as he also seemed to know what that choice may cost him.

他耸了耸肩,说自己不知道。但他确实知道自己明天到底想穿什么去上学,就算他似乎知道这个选择会让自己付出什么样的代价。

I hadn’t met his new teacher yet, so I sent her a heads-up by email, explaining that this had been going on for some time; it wasn’t just a whim. She emailed back right away, unfazed, and she promised to support our child “no matter what.”

我还没有见过他的新老师,于是我给她发了一封电子邮件作为提醒,信中解释说这种情况已经持续了一段时间,并不是心血来潮。她很快回复了邮件,完全没有大惊小怪,保证“不管怎样”都会支持我们的孩子。

Then we went shopping. The fairy skirt and sparkly green dress were play clothes. He didn’t have any skirts or dresses that were appropriate for school.

然后我们就去采购了。仙女裙和亮绿连衣裙是戏服。他还没有适合上学穿的半身裙或是连衣裙。

I didn’t want to buy a whole new wardrobe when I didn’t know if this was going to last. I envisioned a scenario in which he wore a skirt the first day, got made fun of, and never wore a skirt again. I envisioned another in which he got the skirt-wearing out of his system and happily donned pants every day thereafter. But mostly I was pretty sure the skirts were here to stay.

我不想买回一整套新行头,因为我还不知道这种情况会持续多久。我想过一种可能性:他可能会第一天穿条裙子去上学,被人取笑一番,然后就再也不穿裙子了。我还想过另一种可能性,他会自己放弃穿裙子,然后每天都高高兴兴穿上裤子。但我觉得最有可能的情况,还是他的生活里再也不能没有裙子。

School started on a Wednesday, so we bought three outfits to get us through the week. Three school skirts. Three school tops. A pair of white sandals.

开学那天是星期三,于是我们买了三套衣服,以便应付这个星期。三条学生裙。三件学生上衣。一双白凉鞋。

On the drive home, I asked, “What will you say back if kids say the things you think they will?”

开车回家时,我问,“如果别的孩子对你说了那些你已经猜到他们会说的话,你打算怎么回答?”

“I don’t know,” he admitted.

“我不知道,”他承认。

So we brainstormed. We role-played. We practiced saying, “If girls can wear pants or skirts, so can boys.” We practiced saying: “You wear what you’re comfortable wearing. This is what I’m comfortable wearing.” We practiced polite ways of suggesting they mind their own business.

于是我们头脑风暴了一番。我们还做起了角色扮演。我们练习说:“如果女孩能穿裤子也能穿裙子,那男孩也能。”我们练习说:“你穿的是让你觉得舒服的衣服,我穿的也是让我觉得舒服的衣服。”我们练习着彬彬有礼地要求他们别管闲事。

“Are you sure?” I asked him. I asked this while he was behind me in his car seat so he wouldn’t see how scared I was. I asked casually while we ran errands so it wouldn’t seem like a big deal.

“你确定吗?”我问他。当时他坐在汽车后座上,这样就看不见我有多么担心。我在办事的时候随口这么问他,显得好像根本没什么大不了。

“I’m sure,” he said. He certainly sounded sure. That made one of us.

“我确定,”他说,他的声音确实很坚决。我却并非如此。

The question I couldn’t stop asking myself was: Do we love our children best by protecting them at all costs or by supporting them unconditionally? Does love mean saying, “Nothing, not even your happiness, is as important as your safety”? Or does love mean saying, “Be who you are, and I will love that person no matter what”?

我忍不住扪心自问:什么才是爱孩子的最好方式,是不惜一切代价保护他们,还是无条件地支持他们?爱是意味着对他说,“没什么比安全更重要,就连你的幸福也不例外”,还是意味着对他说,“做你自己,不管你是什么样的人我都爱你”?

I couldn’t ask my child those questions. But the next morning I did ask one more time, “Are you sure?”

我不能拿这些问题来问我的孩子。但是第二天早上,我确实又问了他一次,“你确定吗?”

Which was ridiculous, given that he had gotten up before dawn to put on the new skirt and blouse and sandals and was grinning, glowing, with joy.

这问题真是毫无必要,因为一大早他就起床穿上了新裙子和女式衬衫,还有凉鞋,他看起来容光焕发,开心地笑着。

We put some barrettes in his very short hair and took the traditional first-day-of-school pictures. They’re all a little blurry because he was too excited to stand still, but it doesn’t matter because that joyful smile is all you see anyway.

我们给他的短发上别上了几个发夹,拍了传统的“第一天入学照”。照片都有点模糊,因为他太兴奋了,没法安安静静地站着,但是没关系,你只会注意到他快乐的笑容。

My husband and I took deep breaths and walked him to school. For my son’s part, he fairly floated, seemingly unconcerned. Having decided, he was sure.

我和丈夫深深吸了一口气,步行送他去学校。而我儿子的步伐相当轻松,似乎什么都不在乎。他已经做了决定,他很确定。

The things I imagined happening fell into opposite categories, but both transpired. A lot of children didn’t notice, didn’t care or stared briefly before moving on. But there were a few who pestered him on the playground and in the hallways, who teased or pressed, who covered their mouths and laughed and pointed and would not be dissuaded by our carefully rehearsed answers.

我想像过两种极端的情况,但两种情况都发生了。很多孩子根本就没注意到他,他们根本不在乎,或者只是稍微看他一眼就继续走自己的。但是也有一些人在草场上和走廊里纠缠他,嘲笑他、推他,捂着嘴笑、指指点点,我们精心排练的那些回答对他们根本没用。

That lasted longer than I had expected, but it was mostly over within the month.

这种情况比我预想的持续得久,但是在一个月内基本就没有了。

At the end of that first week, when he was going to bed on Friday night, he was upset about something — weepy, cranky and irritable. He couldn’t or wouldn’t tell me what the problem was. His eyes were wet, his fists balled, his face stormy.

在第一周的末尾,周五的晚上,他要上床睡觉时,好像在忧心什么事——眼泪汪汪,焦躁不安。他不能或不想告诉我出了什么事。他的眼睛含满泪水,拳头握了起来,面部表情激动。

I tucked him in and kissed him good night. I asked, again, what the matter was. I asked, again, what I could do. I told him I couldn’t help if he wouldn’t talk to me. Finally I whispered, “You don’t have to keep wearing skirts and dresses to school, you know. If kids are being mean, if it feels weird, you can absolutely go back to shorts and T-shirts.”

我给他掖好被子,给了他一个晚安之吻。我再次问他出了什么事。我再次问他我能做些什么。我对他说如果他不告诉我,我没办法帮他。最后我小声说:“你不必一直穿短裙或连衣裙去上学,你知道的。如果同学们很刻薄,如果那感觉很怪,你当然可以换回短裤和T恤。”

He snapped out of it immediately, sitting up, his face clearing, his eyes drying and brightening. “No, Mama,” he chided. I wish I could say that he did so sweetly, but his tone was more like, Don’t be an idiot. “I already decided about that,” he said. “I never think about that anymore.”

他马上绷不住了,坐直身子,脸上露出确信的表情,眼里的泪水不见了,眼睛非常明亮。“不,妈妈,”他责怪道。我希望我能说他当时说得很可爱,不过他的口气更像是说:别傻了。“我已经做出决定了,”他说,“我再没想过这事。”

It had been three days.

当时他已经在学校过了三天。

But it was also true. He had already decided. He didn’t think about that anymore. And he — she — never looked back. She grew out her hair. She stopped telling people she was a boy in a skirt and started being a girl in a skirt instead.

不过,他说的也是真的。他已经做出决定。他不再想这事了。他——她——从没后悔。她留起长发。她不再告诉人们她是穿短裙的男孩,而是开始做一个穿短裙的女孩。

And we, as a family, decided to be open and honest about it, too, celebrating her story instead of hiding it.

作为她的家人,我们也决定对此事持开放、诚实的态度,去庆祝而不是隐瞒她的故事。

Two years later, our daughter still sometimes wears the green dress, for dress-up and to put on plays, as we imagined her doing in the first place. Now that she can be who she is on the inside and on the outside, on weekdays as well as on weekends, at home and everywhere else, the sparkly green dress has once again become just a costume.

两年后,我们的女儿在盛装打扮或过家家时,依然会穿上那件绿裙子,像我们原先设想的那样。既然不管内心还是外在,工作日还是周末、在家还是在其他地方,她都能做自己,那么这件闪亮的绿连衣裙再次变回戏服,仅仅是一件戏服。

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