We were in the shower, Adalie and I, because sometimes it’s more convenient and honestly because we have some of our best conversations in there!
I will be 32 on Sunday. Some days I look at myself and think, “Alright! Only 32!” Other days, I see wrinkles, grays, “waves” in my legs (aka cellulite), and chub everywhere. As I ran today, I felt more like the latter. My knee was hurting, my calf muscle felt like it was locked up, and I had a side cramp. I ran most of the 3.8 miles but felt all of my years doing it!
So back to shower time …
“Mom, will I have a big butt like you when I get older?” She giggles.
I roll my eyes to myself and try to be positive because one thing I am very careful about with her is positive body image. I see the effects of the societal pressure already … she wants dark hair, she wants “cool” clothes and asks to wear make up, she worries about getting fat. She is six years old! I look at her and see perfection, as all mama’s do I’m sure. She looks and sees mistakes; it breaks my heart.
So I try to be very positive and matter-of-fact about my own body. We talk about how my body was able to produce milk to sustain her. We talk about how strong our muscles must be to run (me) and dance (her). We talk about food and how it nourishes us or harms us. We talk about all kinds of things and I honor her curiosity with honest (developmentally appropriate) answers. And because of that, I hope she will never be afraid of her own body. That no one will shame her about her sexuality or her biology. That she will accept, and then love, herself in every stage of womanhood.
So slightly embarrassed, I answer her, “You might have a bootie like mine one day, when you grow a baby in our tummy or get older.”
I expect horror or exasperation or at the very least her to poke fun at me.
“Yes!” She says instead, “I think you have the cutest bootie.”
I must be doing something right …