Radvent #2

My relationship with my body has always been complex, full of ups and downs.  I love my skin but I hate my teeth.  My hair is shiny but I wish it were red.  I have nice breasts but if you saw me topless you would see stretch marks and flat nipples.  Am I curvy?  Voluptuous?  Hourglass?  Pear?  Pleasantly plump?  People call me cute, pretty, sometimes sexy, rarely beautiful.  I’m told I have soulful eyes, rosy cheeks, and a kissable mouth.  My legs are strong from walking everywhere but my thighs touch and I get prickly heat in the summer.  Everything about my body has been in a constant state of change for years now-early puberty, maturity, frosh fifteen on, add the depression ten, weight off, muscle added, then pregnancy, then nursing, and now…something new.

Having a baby changed everything.  My body wasn’t solely mine any more, and it still isn’t.  I cried when my breasts changed with pregnancy, when my nipples darkened.  But those breasts fed a baby for six months, and still do.  That tummy pouch carried a child.  This is a body that carries and cradles my daughter, that lays in bed nursing and tickling and cuddling, that pushes a stroller all over Ottawa.  I do not always recognize myself when I am naked, but I am a beautiful woman with a beautiful body.

I try to respect this body, treat it well.  I’m still learning how to dress it, as nothing much fits the way it used to-my legs and bum and waist are smaller from walking, but my breast and hips and grown.  Mostly I dress for comfort, for chasing kids at work, and for nursing.  Today I dressed it for glamour-put on a cabled tunic dress and heavy tights.  Played with what little makeup I own.  Admired my jewelry collection, carefully choosing my earrings.  I felt fabulous, and looked fabulous.  As I flirted with myself in the mirror, I noticed Georgia smiling, beaming.  She thinks she has a beautiful mama.  She does.  I need to remember that.

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