An Open Love Letter to my Body

on 10 September 2012

Dear Body,

Well, it's been a while.

I know that I haven't always treated you with the respect that you deserve.  As I child I let you run free, we climbed trees and rode our bike as fast as your skinny little legs would let us.  We rolled around in the snow in Winter, and then chased lightening bugs in Summer.  But then, there were those horrible teen-aged years.

You were pretty crappy to me, but I was pretty awful to you too.  We shall not speak of how you sprung that period on me, nor about how I "blossomed" seemingly overnight, prompting the undesired attention of boys whom I still believed to be the bearers of "cooties."  But I suppose I should apologize for those years that I starved you and tortured you.  You didn't deserve that.  And even after all of that, you never let me down.

And then there were our twenties.  They were good times, weren't they?  But I fear I took you for granted.  All of those all-nighters, all of the toxic junk-food, oceans of Diet Coke and mountains of sugar.  I'm sorry.  That wasn't nice.  I knew better and I still treated you like you were second rate.

And then there was that whole mess when I was pregnant with the Boy.  Was it really necessary to balloon up like a sausage?  Only my uterus was pregnant, so why, oh WHY was I so expansive all the way around?  I know, I might have had something to do with all of those nachos and the half gallons of chocolate chip ice cream.  But I tried after he came, I really did!  We went for walks, I went back to veggies and tofu.  And things were ok for a while, but oh, why were you so hard on both of us with the breastfeeding?

I admit it, ok?  I didn't know what I was doing!  I didn't eat or drink properly and I certainly didn't nurse on demand, but I was a rookie!  You can't have expected me to know what I was doing right out of the gate.  Couldn't you have been a little easier on me?  I was sort of shell-shocked.

Maybe we both made mistakes.

And then, oh man, I guess maybe we're even for the teen-aged years because you really let me have it in those two years we were trying for the Girl.  That was horrible.  Let's never go back there, ok?

But now?  Oh body, how can I tell you how grateful I am for you?  How can I tell you how you have completely won my heart? 

Look at those babies.  YOU did that, body of mine.  You grew them, and once they were here, you fed them.  And you're STILL feeding the Girl.  Look at those voluptuous thighs!  Look at those chubby cheeks!  Look at that little belly!  Oh my body, I couldn't love you more if I tried.

Thank you.  Thank you for working so hard to grow them, to shelter and protect them.  Thank you for regulating everything while I was preoccupied with other things.  Thank you for feeding them and providing them with comfort.  Thank you for keeping us all alive.

Let's be honest, for 36 years we've had an antagonistic relationship at best.  You've never looked like other girls, you've never been skinny or athletic or TALL.  You've always persisted in growing resiliently curly hair, in spite of my best efforts to straighten it out.  I've hated you, I've feared you, I've ignored you and brushed you off as just another annoyance.  And when you would have been justified in shoving it all right back at me, you didn't.  You chose the high road.  You made the best babies in creation, and you continue to make Magical Milk for my amazing Girl.

I never would have imagined that it would be breastfeeding of all things, that would make me fall in love with you.  But there it is.  Life is strange sometimes, and after 36 years I'm done.  I promise.  No more starvation, no more torture, no more loathing.  You are mine and I am yours.  I'm going to do my best to take good care of you, and sometimes, I'm going to let you eat junk-food just because it's a nice treat.  And most days we're going to go for a walk because fresh air and exercise are nice, not because we're trying to look like everyone else.

Because you're NOT like everyone else, body.  You are mine.  And you have done amazing things. 




Miss Sarah in Georgia said...

I love this! I love your comments and I love seeing pictures of you and the kids. The Girl is delicious--how do you not nibble all day long? :)

Brett said...

Well said. Thanks for making me think. :-)