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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

An Open Letter to my Thighs


Dearest Thighs,

You have been with me now, literally, forever. You’ve witnessed and been one with me through thicker and thinner days. You’ve been there through the crashes and the cascades. You know what it feels like to reach for the clouds on the springtime swings of childhood. You know what it feels like to have the warmth of a July sun and soft powder sand cradle you at the same time. You know what it feels like to help carry the weight of bringing a baby into the world. You know all about being weightless for a moment in the depths of cool oceans and being so whole and heavy in the all encompassing place of motherhood.

So I feel saddened and shameful to admit that when I look at you, admiration is not an emotion that I adopt. You are what my eyes first see in a dressing room mirror. Fluorescent lights seem to showcase every line, every imperfection, every dimple of years that are mapped across your edges. When I see you now, it is hard to remember the girl that you used to pedal on a bicycle faster than fireworks on summer afternoons. When I see you now, it is hard to remember that I once saw you as beautiful. When I see you now, I long for an eraser instead of a highlighter. When I see you now, I see the things that are wrong instead of the things that are right.

Which is why I have decided to call a truce.

I am no longer going to complain about you. I am no longer wasting dear moments producing hostility toward you or me for the way that I carry you. I am no longer letting you dictate whether or not we will spend summer in a body length cover-up or in a show you off sweet bikini. I am flaunting you. Because you are powerful and strong, regardless of size. And life is glorious. And the more complaining we do about the way we are built, the more that glory seems to diminish.

Our time is too valuable to pick apart the width of our bodies instead of embracing the pieces that make up the width of our days. Whether it is thighs, or stomachs or breasts or arms or faded images of the way we used to see ourselves. The way I see it, we have two choices: to either let go of our complaints or to do something to make a change. We can go to the gym, or go to yoga or go to a plastic surgeon or buy the spanx. Or do none of that. There should be no shame either way. We have a choice in the way we see and treat ourselves and how we see and treat one another. So let’s keep on going and live a life that is lighter and freer because we won’t have our negativity weighing us down. We get this one shot at life and our bodies are there for the whole stunning ride.

So thighs, bring it on. You are with me in the drivers seat and the time to press the gas is now.

Let's do this…






The Other Place


This was a piece that I wrote for Scary Mommy that appeared on their online site on the 26th of April. Cheers...




I don’t really know how it happened but one day I woke up and my children weren’t babies. Or toddlers. They didn’t need me to pour their cereal or lift them out of their crib. They didn’t need me to dissolve pink syrup in the milk filled purple sippy cup. Sippy cups no longer live in our cabinets or more accurately, leaking on the stained fabric between faded car seats. The stroller in the trunk has long been replaced by lacrosse equipment. The sweet new baby smell has grown into the scent of sweat and the reminder to my nine year old that he needs to take a shower. Yes, right now. 

Last weekend, they were all in the house, all doing their own thing. And it was quiet. Four kids. All independent. And quiet. My mind was blown. I asked my husband, “Is this really happening?” His response, “They’re not yours anymore.” My response, a hesitant bordering on the edge of tears, “Yes they are.” Who asked him anyway. Shit. 

They still need me. But it has evolved into the other place. I’m no longer in the thick of the everyday. Just. Like. That.

Before any of them rode a school bus, I used to take them to a toddler morning at a local roller skating rink where you could bring bikes and scooters and baby doll strollers and whatever you schlepped inside would instantly be no longer wanted by your child as soon as they saw the new big wheel that another child was riding. The whole thing was a hot mess but we NEEDED to get out of the house to be able to survive winter. The center of the rink was the thick of it. This is where there were seats for the nursing mommas, this where the full body tantrums happened, this is where the tears were relentless and the falls of the beginning skaters happened again and again. This is the place where everyone’s hands were full. It was where mothers gave each other reassuring nods that they were not alone.  They too, understood that you had to get out of the house no matter how difficult it was to leave and how challenging it was to make it through the present moment. 

And then in the outer ring there would always be at least one momma on rollerskates. She had older outer ring children that knew how to ride on skates or on bikes without training wheels. They didn’t need her hands any longer to hold them up. She still was there, but now more as an anchor than an appendage. Her hands were free. She was smiling. She earned the other place.

I never thought I’d be her.

But I am.

When you are caught in the thick of the tears at the roller rink or the grocery store meltdowns or the endless sleepless nights, it seems almost impossible that any other place exists. I am here to promise you this: one day you will be in your home and you will only hear the sounds of the outdoors. You will be able to complete a thought. You will be able to drink coffee while it is still hot. And it will scare the hell out of you. I also promise you this: it will be remarkable. You will have earned the time. You will have earned the quiet. You may even miss the noise. And it’s okay if you don’t.

And you are still needed. Every single day.

You are still the chef, the chauffeur, the laundry chief, the therapist, the mediator and the all knowing master of whatever item your child loses or needs that day. You are still the queen bee.

For life.

And that outer ring has no end. It just keeps evolving to a different ring, a different place. Easier in so many ways, more challenging in others.

As much as it breaks us down, it builds us up. So whatever place you find yourself, please know that it is hard and it is beautiful and you will survive it. And somewhere there is a mother looking where you are and longs for just one day to have that place back. She misses with fervor the fullness that used to be in her hands. She misses the sound of it, the laughter in it, the smell of it, the wholeness and the hope of it all. And that is the heart wrenching bittersweetness of all that being a mother is. It is an unparalleled journey. 

Here’s to all the places of motherhood.
Here’s to us.