A couple days ago, my precious one looked deep into my eyes, placed her chubby little hand on my cheek and said, “Mom, you don’t have a young face, because you have those lines on it.” That came only a week after she’d watched me get out of the shower and lovingly mentioned my “chubby butt”. I giggled a little, but said, “Moms probably don’t want to be told their bottoms are chubby.”
“But Mom,” she said her brown eyes wide with wonder, “It’s so big and round and you know…wobbles like this,” she said, as she flailed her hands dramatically.
Oh my dear soul…just what I needed. Sign me up for botox. We can use my butt to help my face, it’s a worthy cause…and my butt is happy to donate. Particularly today.
A part of me wanted to revert back to a younger me, smothered by eating disorders and body dysmorphia. But a much bigger part wanted to succumb to hysterical laughter. And that is what I chose, because friends…I’m not a slave anymore.
When I was twelve, my Aunt passed away from a terrible monster of an eating disorder. It was a deep time of grief for my family. She was young, and it was a great loss. Only a couple years later after cross state moves, my own overwhelming battle with perfectionism and unworthiness began to manifest. I succumbed to my own monsters in the form of eating disorders and depression for about a year and a half.
With the help of family, doctors, nutritionists, and a counselor I was able to recover.
I still wrestle with demons sometimes. And it was a particular struggle for me during pregnancies and weight gain.
But you know now, as I think about my perfect daughter?
It is enough.
And I am not a slave.
I am beautiful, and I am wonderful.
You know what kids are good at? Making me stop taking things so damn seriously. And for that I am so very grateful. Because you know…let’s by honest…my butt wobbles. But the thing is no matter what size or shape I am today, believing that I’m beautiful is an inside job, not an outside one.
So yesterday, we went for a little jog on the way to her ballet class. She was riding on pure delight. “Hey,” I asked, “Is your butt jiggling? Because mine is.” She laughed hysterically…”Yes! Yes mom it is!”
A perfect moment…
And then she looked at my legs. “You know what else wiggles? Your legs! Sometimes I like to hit them and watch them shake!” Her gusto was like that of someone who enjoys playing basketball or eating large chocolate sundaes.
And you know what? It was pretty damn contagious! I think I like to watch my legs jiggle too now. Partially because it turns out it’s one of my daughter’s favorite pastimes, but mostly because my daughter…she is perfect. I hope and pray that her body never instructs her on her joy–that she knows forever that beauty is something that comes from deep within and that her looks are SPECTACULAR no matter her size or shape.
I pray that she can giggle about cellulite and leg fat forever.
You are strong. You are smart. You are beautiful.
May you forever rest in your immeasurable worth.
I love you dear heart.
So today I’m embracing all that I don’t think I care for about my body. And I’m letting go of any left over hate. Because this ones for the next generation of girls.
Because they’re worth it, and I am worth it.
Jiggle some of that and embrace the wrinkles for me today, you’re beautiful and you are worthy.
This one’s for the girls.
Also, I am embracing her observations while also gently guiding her towards wisdom. Hopefully I will have her “guided” before she compliments you on the bags under your eyes.
One can hope.