I woke up this morning at 6:45 am because I could feel the warm breath of my daughter on my face. As my eyes opened and I began to focus, there was a very large eyeball staring into my soul. Thanks, Daylight Saving! I am usually dragging her out of bed at 8:00 am. Sometimes I get her up and she climbs back into a bed. Dressing her is akin to struggling with a drunk octopus. WHERE do all of these arms come from?
But not this morning! This morning, she was up with the energy of a caffeinated squirrel. So, she asked to shower with me. Showering with a child is not fun. I usually try to avoid it. But, since her hair was becoming a scrapbook of all the food we’d eaten in 72 hours, I allowed her to share my shower space. Clearly, the reasons I dislike showering with her are twofold.
- Have you ever tried shaving your legs within a two inch square space just outside the hot stream of water? It’s awesome!
- I always get a dissertation on how big my rear is. Also, it jiggles….A lot.
Fast forward twenty minutes and I am standing in the bathroom with make-up and hair finished. I am wearing black tights and a black tank. The tunic hasn’t been grabbed from the closet yet. My daughter is standing wrapped in a towel in front of me and I am drying her hair. At this point, my husband and three oldest sons are out of the house and tucked safely in school.
Or so I thought.
As I was drying her hair, my husband walked into the room. “I forgot something,” he said. Immediately, my eyes darted to the mirror. I was standing there stuffed into these garments like an oversized sausage. “He just saw all of my fat!” was my first thought. “Why didn’t I put on the dress yet?” As if extra material hides the package of mini recess peanut butter cups I ate! Ugh, I hate the loathing I feel when I think about my body. As I drove off to work, It hit me that his first thought may have had nothing to do with my body. Perhaps he saw me standing in the bathroom lovingly drying and brushing the hair of our adopted daughter. Maybe he was grateful for the way I parent and love our kids. Maybe he was thinking POSITIVE things about my body. Or maybe his mind was simply focused on the paper he came home to retrieve. The reality is, the narrative I hear when I look at myself is harsh and unforgiving. This body carried, birthed, and fed babies…four of them. This body held a frightened two year old Chinese girl while trying to avoid her slaps and scratches. This body survived a tornado. This face communicates love, acceptance, and encouragement. These arms offer comfort and safety for five children trying to figure it all out. This body has been a vessel of connection in marriage and manages to move every day to serve and care.
Our bodies are freaking amazing! I’m making an effort today to put the negative thoughts aside and focus on the amazing things this strong (albeit jiggly) body can do! What about you? Do you have the same struggle? What has your body done to make this world better? Let’s write a new story about our bodies today!!!