When I look at You…
When I look at you standing there curling your hair on a Saturday night, getting ready for a date night, you are not yet dressed and not yet covered up. I can’t help but think “WOW, look at YOU, you look incredible!” Five pregnancies in eight years: three babies...three beautiful thriving babies, two losses...two sweet souls who will never join you here on earth. In eight years thats a total of 2 years and 11 months of carrying a life inside of you or 35 months of growing and sustaining another. You carried them, grew them, birthed them and brought them into this world. You breastfed them and nourished them for a total of FOUR years and eight months over a course of 8 years. I look at you and I think, “look what you can do, you are amazing, look what you did, look what you grew, look what you fed, look at who you loved.”
But mostly, when I look at you in a picture or a video you are wearing clothes that never seem to fit right or feel good. And when you’re passing by in a mirror you catch a slide glimpse or a reflection...a moment where you weren’t paying attention to your posture or belly or holding your neck just right and I can’t help but think, “Who are you? WHO IS THAT? Where did she go?” I see lumps and bumps, rolls, and sag.
You were once powerful, strong, trim, lean, you could jump..REALLY high (really effin high though), you could sprint, you could dive, you could stop a crowd with your powerful swing, you could bench press more than most of your team, your capabilities and work literally took you across the world and back. You paid for college, your first car, your wedding, vacations and countless nights out on the town.
But I think back... even then, did I love you? Did I appreciate you? Did I think you were beautiful? Did I think you were enough? Did I care for you well? Did I treat you with kindness? No, not really. Maybe sometimes, or occasionally I tried to care for you. But mostly, I continually demanded of you, pushed you, begged you to keep going and keep training, keep jumping. But, I never REALLY loved you.
Here I am...so many years later, so far removed from that life of training and the pre-kid blissful body that I never loved. Here I am eight years later, after FIVE pregnancies (did I say that already? Its just so many), three kids, 4.75 years of nursing, and I still don’t love you. Sometimes I appreciate you and sometimes I care for you. Sometimes I treat you with compassion and tenderness. But most of the time, I look at you and I say, “Who are you? What happened to you? Why do you look like that? You are supposed to look better, be better. You are not enough.”
So here, in my 35th year with you, I am beginning to think, “What if I just try to nourish you and care for you? What if I finally start to listen to you when you tell me its time to stop, its time to rest, you cannot go anymore? What if I listen, instead of continuing to push and demand and ignore? What if I just fed you well? What if I just woke up every day and tried to care for you better? What if I thanked you, for all that you have done and created? What if I appreciated your hard work?
WHAT IF I JUST TRY TO LOVE YOU?
Will I one day look at you and think: “YOU ARE AMAZING. YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. YOU ARE STRONG. YOU ARE LOVED. YOU HAVE DONE A GREAT JOB. YOU ARE ENOUGH?”
- Rachel, wife to Anthony, Mama to the three sweetest kiddos, daughter to one hell of a woman, lover of herself (in progress).