The next year was basically more of the same. Robin had issues in school. She said it was because she wasn’t girly. I, of course, told her she didn’t have to be girly; she only had to be herself. I was worried about Robin in school because I thought the other girls were being mean to her. She said they called her a “tomboy”. I always told her nothing was wrong with being a tomboy. I was secretly happy that Robin wasn’t thinking about boyfriends and learning how to “twerk” like some of her friends. At the same time I was wondering why she never talked about playing with her “best friends” while in school. Why didn’t they ask to come over like they once did. Those girls always wanted to come to our house or go somewhere with us. But, it seemed they were growing apart.
By fifth grade, Robin only talked about playing with boys at school. She had new best friends; when I asked about her best friends since kindergarten Robin said they were still her friends they just had other friends. When I asked why she never played with girls, Robin said they didn’t want to play with her. It broke my heart. Fifth grade was a rough year. There were fights, obvious defiance, teachers calling home, the counselor saying Robin didn’t seem to be that sweet little girl that just wanted everyone to be happy. My baby was struggling and I didn’t know what to do.
When Robin asked me if I would always love her, “no matter what”. I knew that something big was coming. I told her there was nothing, absolutely nothing in this world that would make me stop loving her. And I started telling her I loved her all the time. Not that I didn’t before, I just did it more consciously because I knew she needed reassurance. When Robin asked that question, she looked up at me, with her big beautiful eyes, and she looked so scared. I had to let her know that my love was a constant, no matter what.
Not much later, Robin told me she was gay. I knew it was coming, so I just said “okay”. Then, I asked her if she knew what that meant. She explained in exactly the way you would expect a child to explain something like that. Robin said gay is when a boy likes another boy and a girl likes another girl. I couldn’t help but to tell her that just because a person likes another person of the same sex, it doesn’t mean their gay. I said friends like each other and aren’t gay. I also said that I thought she was too young to label herself; she had plenty of time to figure out that type of stuff I said a lot; trying to convince myself. Fifth grade was a very rough year.