Last night, I was faced with a statement from the M that truly surprised me. She was telling me the story of how she had been playing outside with a new friend she made. This new friend apparently skinnied right through the bars in the fence they were playing on, but the M could not squeeze through. She had a very sober face when she said of this situation, "It made me wonder if I am fat."
My first internal reaction was immediate and demanding: NO! NO! NO! But I knew that I had one chance to help this beautiful little princess of ours understand that she is not "fat." DEEP BREATHS...and then I started to talk to her about what she thought.
I let her know that the bars she was trying to squeeze through were not the "You're Fat" or "You're Skinny" measurers in the world. I told her that they were just bars. I tried to let her know that everyone's body is different, and while some kids may slip right through the bars, and she didn't, it doesn't mean anything about her.
I told her she's beautiful and definitely not fat. I told her it is more important for us to focus on how healthy she is, as well as staying safe and not trying to fit in tight spaces where she might get hurt.
I also talked to her about substance; that she is very pretty, but her character, her choices, her pursuits and much more speak to how truly and wholly beautiful a person she is everyday.
Then I took her picture, as she munched on a slice of sour dough with butter at Kneaders. I wanted to see her smile and fawn over how all I see is how beautiful she is to me and her Dad and her family and friends.
She felt better. No more wincey, somber face. No more quizzical looks of wonderment. She was just happy. I was so relieved. But this situation made me think back to what I told her about the bars in the fence she was trying to squeeze through just being bars, not "fat-dicators" by any means.
I thought of how hypocritical I may have been in what I was saying to the M. My "fat-dicators" may not be bars in a fence, but I've let numbers, be it on a scale or on the tags of my clothing have more power than I ever needed to. Talking to the M about what she thought made me ask myself, "Why should you talk to yourself any differently?"
We had a nice ride home together. I looked down at my plumping belly and in that moment, I loved it. This belly is here by choice. I am so lucky to have the health and strength enough to choose to bear a child. The life I have inside of me doesn't care if I can't fit into my high school sized jeans anymore. The baby just wants to be cared for, by a Mommer who loves her and herself.
I wanted to share this with my friends and family because it meant a lot to me to "let myself off the hook" and to look through eyes of appreciation at my physical body. I'm grateful for this experience.
I see that if I am to raise two healthy girls with grounded self images, who love themselves, I know that I need to have that within myself first. Today its here. Today I am free. I hope you will read this and experience it with us...the joy of loving who you are, as you are right now.