Unmentionables

Since I’ve already dug into the embarrassing, I thought I wouldn’t let this little gem go either:

Today I was in Target with my mom. She agreed to push the children around the store while I tried on a few bras (hopefully this cup-size soap opera has come to an end).

As I tried on a few, I remembered a hilarious moment from the past. When I came from Remuda, I’d gained weight EVERYWHERE. This meant that I needed new unmentionables as well as clothes, so I went to a Victoria’s Secret to get measured.

I walked up to the sales lady and said something along the lines of, “Hi, I need to get measured. I recently went from a B to a D, I think.”

The Secret Saleslady measured me and then picked out a few of her best suggestions for my size and shape. She then handed them to the gal running the changing room and said, “You may want to grab her a few more options if these don’t work. She just had them done.”

It registered. “Oh, I didn’t have implants,” I said.

“Then how did this transformation occur?” she asked with a hand on her hip.

“I, uh,” I stood up taller, “gained 15 pounds.”

They looked at each other in confusion. I left stocked and prepared to face the clothed world with my new body.

Period

I know exactly two humans who read this blog, so I’m just going to jump in with this one. Periods. Here we go:

Periods are something females have (or are supposed to have). For me, this inconsistent cycle started when I was in eighth grade. Cross country messed with it some, but I’d say things were normal until my twenties. It went away, but came back around the time I got married and got on birth control. Birth control gives you fake periods, so even if you don’t have enough body fat to have a period, you can still have one with birth control. But I hated birth control. It made me feel like a loon, so we figured something else out. Also, I stopped having periods. For three full years, I was a freezing, hungry little gal with amenorrhea.

The short of it is that I gained weight and got a period, but I only had to deal with it for a short time before I got pregnant, was nursing, then pregnant and then nursing again. In sum, I’ve just had another three years without a period. Until recently. It came back. I mentioned this little factoid to my mom and she said, “Yeah, welcome to being a woman.”

There are birth controls that remove your period entirely, but we are finished having children, so I am not using those. People rave about not having periods and I feel like somehow it’s forcing your body to do the opposite of what it was intended to do. Whether you like it or not, having a period gets your attention. And that’s good.

So, until menopause, I will have this monthly visitor. It seems like everyone dogs on a female’s menstrual cycle, but I recently revisited a book called Eating in the Light of the Moon that really helped me own being a woman. When I read Taking Charge of your Fertility in order to get pregnant and I felt like I was learning how my body worked for the first time. And I learned even more about my body in my Bradley birthing class, but re-reading Moon was a nice refresher course. It is a beautiful, not shameful thing.

I hope I can translate this well to Sabra when the time comes. I hope I can teach her to appreciate all her body does for her. And I know that will only happen if I set a good example with how I relate to my own body. Moms are usually the worst at this, with their constant diet coking and serial dieting, but women really are special. So, God, please help me not to criticize my body or complain about the way You made me. And help me teach my daughter to be excited about the strong legs that let her run and play and explore this world.

an epiphany-free blog post!

Last week’s concert also got my mental wheels turning. I feel like my head’s just resurfacing from the flood of having two children very quickly. Somehow I have managed to post a few blogs –so we will hopefully not forget the goodies of the little years –but mostly I feel like I’ve disappeared. And somehow seeing Sufjan live reminded me that I am an individual with tastes and passions.

It was also a reminder that these little people will not consume the majority of my time forever. Yes, there will be a day when I can go on a walk alone without having to pay someone to keep them alive while I’m away.

Sadly I’d say I’ve only picked up my guitar a time or two since Brooks was born, which means I haven’t played or written music in a long time. I also rarely write like I used to. I miss my writing group and I so desperately want to be using that part of my brain on a consistent basis.

And that is pretty much what got me to the computer today. So there it is, an epiphany-free blog post!

 

Martha, Sufjan and Me: Middle School Survivors

I ran into Martha Walker at a Sufjan concert last night; tall, awkward, lanky Martha. She was there with what appeared to be her 10ish year old daughter. We said our hellos and she gave me her new last name and suggested connecting on Facebook or whatever. It won’t happen. Her new last name is Cox, but I won’t look her up. We were only teammates, never friends, and we obviously have very different lives these days.

But I couldn’t stop thinking about our journeys from 8th grade to today, age 34. As Sufjan sang about the disguise of Junior High, I thought about how Martha was loved only for what she could bring to the Lady Barracuda’s basketball team – namely her height, which translated into easy 2 point rebounds for a post. I thought about how I was a jerk and probably made fun of her high-water jeans among the cooler kids, though bringing someone else down never brought my own security in that crowd.

I was on the cool kid track, but I got off somewhere along the way in high school.  And I think that it’s pretty telling that in a room full of wounded outsiders, Martha and I gathered among hundreds to be consoled by one of our own.

Sufjan sold out two nights in a row at Bass Concert Hall. I’ve been into him for a decade and I have to ask myself why we all love him so much?  Of course my husband doesn’t like him, but so many of us do. And why do I? And why does it endure?

I’ve thought about it and here is what I can come up with:

  1. He is one heck of a songwriter, so I admire that
  2. Samesies on the musician front
  3. He had parents who hurt him and let him down
  4. He has really felt loved and completed by the Son of God, even though he is honest about how hard life is and how much we ache
  5. His lyrics speak to me – he writes what I wish I could say

So looking back, Junior High was a just a big disguise for me too. I qualified as the “in” crowd, but it wasn’t real. I just wore the right Gap shorts with my Keds and pleased the right people in order to only endure the minimal amount of pain during those cruel years. But even on the cool side, we hurt. Or at least I did.

I can only hope that at the end of the day the Martha Walkers of the world and I are both just wounded followers of Christ looking for other people with whom we can exhale and say, “You too?!”