Every time my child gets dressed, I give him a choice between two different color shirts. One of them has a mermaid on it. Every time I help my child pick their clothes, I want to give them anything but blue even though blue was the first color word they could say, and all their answers to my questions are, “blue.” Every time my child wants to wear pink, or draws with a pink crayon, or makes pink cakes with Play-Doh, I cheer a bit on the inside and think zir not succumbing. Every time my spouse suggests we cut our child’s hair because faer wispy locks brush faer eyelashes like broken spider webs, I say there’s no need, but then I ask just to make sure and fae says, “No cut.” Every time I wear a cardigan or sweatshirt over a grandpa-style button down or a Pretty Boi T-shirt, ze takes it off of me as if it knows what I actually want to wear and is helping me out. Every time xe snuggles with me and our faces get close enough to exchange breath, I think about how no other mamas are growing a mustache but I am. Every time my child follows me into the bathroom, ey stares at my body when I’m naked, and I wonder what ey sees and if ey can describe it for me so I can know my truest form. Every time I come home from a haircut appointment, my child runs her hand up and down the back of my head like she’s petting a patch of fake baby bunny fur in one of her “Touch and Feel” animal books, and my short hair becomes right and beautiful. Every time my child wakes up in the morning, I rush to faer bedroom to pick them up from their crib. Ve rests vir head in the well-worn crook of my neck and shoulder, and I stand in the middle of the room rocking him gently, letting us be, no intrusions, not even my own.

Alyssa “Lys” Sorresso is a non-binary, trans person living in Chicago with two cats and a great family. They are a freelance editor, writer, and communications consultant who particularly loves developmental editing for cookbooks. Lys’s writing has been published in PANK, Calyx, Creative Nonfiction, 9 Lives: The Life in 10 Minutes Anthology, and elsewhere. Their essay, “Don’t Borrow Trouble” was listed as “Notable” in The Best American Essays 2015. Lys was nominated for the 3Arts award in Teaching Artistry in 2016 and awarded a Ragdale Arts residency for the fall of 2018. Their essay “Bubble and Pop” was listed as Notable in Memoir Magazine’s 2019 #MeToo contest. They will make you focaccia if you are feeling down. Read more of their work at alyssasorresso.com, and find them on Instagram @alyssa.sorresso or twitter @focacciaqueer.

Photo by Amy Selwyn