You roam around the house in your big girl underpants, baggy legs and all. You have the confidence of a supermodel as you bolt around the upstairs with your three brothers, sharing the tub or dancing stark naked. The sunbeams your self radiates leave me breathless with joy and I long to encase your thoughtful perfection.
"It's not fair!", you said, scowling in the mirror. Your dear friend shared that she weighed 40 pounds and that you did not. The accusation left you ripe with anger and indignant because, as you shared, it was not even true. Your scantily clad self stepped on the scale, shoved between our tub and a stainless steel dog bowl and you were right, the needle hovered right over 40. I hid a smile, amused with the little girl livid with this perceived slight and I should have known what was coming next. What's your number?
For thirty long seconds, I contemplated the tsunami question that washed over my imperfect love of self. I hopped on the scale with a show of confidence, though inside, I felt a lamb to the slaughter. Proof in the pudding, my number was much higher, one six something and again, you wailed in disappointment, "It's not fair!" The irony of being in such a contradictory position was not lost on me. I have lamented that extra 20 or 30 pounds for ten years now and you, my daughter, think me perfect, envious of my numeral.
I promise I will be better for you.
I promise that I will give you the best possible chance to be healthier than me, both physically and emotionally.
I promise comments about weight will never come from our house.
I promise you will always see me enjoying a cupcake at your birthday party.
I promise I will raise your brothers to know girls eat more than salads and a lunch should be more than just "the crusts."
I promise I won't model deprivation even if it promises the thinness I inwardly desire and struggle to leave behind.
My daughter, thank you for your jubilant cheer at my number and the glorious reminder that IT is so very insignificant for what is truly at stake.