We have this mayor here in our small town who is a little...well, how should I put this?
Stu is a man who prefers to dress like a woman and has even gone the extra mile and had his chest.. let's say..."enhanced".
He also owns and operates our retro theatre, The Palace, and can often be found behind the counter filling up cups of perfectly hot buttered popcorn or collecting cash with his manicured and red polished fingertips.
Stu is just a part of Silverton life.
AbbySue and Ben have grown accustomed to his eccentric fish net tights and black stiletto heels.
Not that they haven't asked questions. They certainly have. And as a parent who wants to raise children full of integrity and grace, we have attempted to explain Stu in a way that reveals the condition of humanity....incomplete.
Zibby, on the other hand, has not really had the chance to see Stu up close and personal until a couple of weeks ago when she walked down with the big kids and I to see "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2".
My quiet girl stood close behind me, eyes wide and wondering, while I purchased the tickets and talked with Stu.
That evening while I was tucking her into bed she had the same questions that her brother and sister asked at that age about Stu. And I again explained as gently as I could. Zibby took it in, processing and filtering it all through her six year old mind.
A few days went by and I was driving alone with Zibby to piano lessons...Stu far from thought.
"Mommy..." Zibby says, "I've been thinking about Stu. I've been thinking about his clothes."
"Oh, really?" I say.
"Yes, Mommy, I've been thinking about his clothes and I've been wondering if maybe he just needs some boy clothes. And I was thinking that maybe we can get him some. Maybe he's never had any."
(Okay, so this is the part when my mommy heart melts and wants to burst out laughing at the same time...but I didn't)
"Oh honey...that is so thoughtful and kind of you. But, (tactfully), Stu wants to wear girls clothes. He likes them more than boys clothes."
"Well...you know...we girls do have very pretty things. I know why he would like them!"
It was all I could not to swerve right off the road.
Oh Zibby....my precious heart.