My Daughter is Watching
Last night I went to change into my yoga clothes to get ready to teach. As usual the whole crew came up with me: 2yo boy, almost 7yo girl and our dog. (So much for solitude before class)
I opened my drawer and found that it was, once again, full of nothing to wear. So I went to The Vault instead. The Vault is where I put a few of my favorite things that aren't fitting well right now. It's a drawer in another room where I don't have to look at them and they can't make me think badly of myself... but I can still get my hands on them if I want to wear them.
An adorable pair of pants came out of The Vault and made it onto my body (which is more than they did the last time I tried them on). But then, they still just didn't feel right. They don't fit right just yet. I'm carrying more weight than when I bought them and they don't fit in a way that wouldn't bring my attention to them while I was teaching. They were ok, but I felt self-conscious.
In a moment of not even realizing that what I was doing was REVOLUTIONARY for me, I simply slipped the pants off and reached for another pair, one that I knew would fit and feel good. No second thought. I didn't bat an eyelash or internally berate myself for being heavier than when I got the pants. A few months ago I would've had a lot of mean things to say to myself and a few years ago it would've been a full on downward spiral of self hatred. But last night, I barely took note.
What I realize was more important than what went on inside of me was the fact that I had an audience. During the whole experience I kept up a dialogue with my daughter:
"Gosh, I don't know what I want to wear. I'll try these and see how they go."
"Hmm. These don't fit great today, it doesn't make me feel great to wear them. No big deal, I'll try others"
and "You know, this is one of the things about being a woman. My body changes all the time. It's pretty cool. And when you grow up, your body will change a lot too. We're pretty lucky that way as women."
She helped me pick the second pair (they matched the color she was wearing) and we moved on. It was a simple moment. And a profound moment when I think about it.
When I was growing up I got some great messages about women's bodies - especially about the ability to carry, birth, and feed babies. But I never got the: "Your body is going to change dramatically on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis -- and that's a GOOD thing" message. Did anyone?
But that's the honest truth, isn't it? I'm in a female form. The female is never static, she is always in flux. If I can get behind that truth rather than run from it, I think I'll be more settled as my thighs and waistline expand and contract -- repeatedly.
And more importantly in my eyes, if my settledness can in any way help my daughter feel at home in her own skin as her body expands, contracts, opens and closes then I will really have done something amazing.
That is my wish for her, for all of us really. We change, we grow, we shrink, we are full and empty again and again. It is our gift as women to get to live in this way. May we always embrace the fullness of who we are - no matter how well our pants fit.