In a month my daughter turns thirteen. She is my sun, my moon, and my stars.
I have mentioned before I love and am in awe of how much of her own person she is.
How comfortable in her own skin she is. At least I thought she was.
Until we started chatting recently. She seemed a bit down. So I asked is it because we are stuck at home and you are missing everyone?
Somehow in the midst of that discussion we landed on what she thinks about how she looks.
She told me she didn’t like her stomach and how it looked.
My heart sunk.
I have struggled with my self image and weight my whole life so because of that I thought I’ve been doing a pretty good job of not ever making that a part of our conversation.
I started mentally indexing conversations we had. Had I said something? Oh no! Was it because I said wearing jeans was like torture now?
I broke and asked her. She said when she was in elementary school someone had called her a name. I pointed out to her that it was two years ago. Why now? She said I don’t know. Then I checked myself. I am 48 and I still remember being teased by people from grade school. Why should it be different for her? It shouldn’t. Sadly.
I reminded her of what I always tell her… it’s about being healthy.
I reminded her as silly as it sounds it really is about what’s inside. Truly. But we all have our days. But as humans we’ve earned our wrinkles and freckles and scars. We’ve earned the way our body changes. It means we have lived a life.
I told her you may look in the mirror right now and look one way and by the end of the summer look completely different.
Changing is life and it means living.
It’s not always perfect or what we think it should be. But it means things are happening.
I told her I earned my tummy- it grew a person. I grew her! She laughed. I told her she really liked Mountain Dew Code Red and Butter Burgers with the works. Laughter.
I still am doing the mental catalog even as I type this. Is it because I get up every morning and always have to shower and rarely not wear makeup?
Does she feel this way because of that?
I have never been the Mom to make her wear certain types of clothes. I just ask that they be weather appropriate and clean. She hates jeans. So I got her lots of leggings and athletic pants.
She, like me, loves t-shirts. And her hoodie collection- pretty great.
I keep on her about the normal stuff – showers, brushing her teeth… So where?
I don’t know. All I know is I hope she knows what an incredible human she is.
How much I love her.
What a crazy Mama Bear I will turn into the first time someone hurts her. Ok… I’ll try to keep that at the below the surface level.
But this was our first of many( I’m sure) talks like this.
I am scared.
I don’t know if I’m ready.
And man, I hope I’m doing it right. Just a bit would be great.
Thanks for letting me share and if any of you have any words of wisdom….
I’d love it.
Much love Mommas