Note to my darling girl: Again and again they ask how much you weigh.
I breathe in for a moment of calm in an effort to drop the burden of defensive arrows that load my crossbow of responses, and I sort my answer.
I turn to you and hug you tighter.
You, my sweet little lady, are the lovingly nursed weight of perfection. While your little lips and tiny tongue latch my nipple, you effortlessly suckle my milk and build your body. Never before have I loved ten upper thigh rolls, a balloon belly, eight knee creases and six elbow dimples so much that it made my heart melt.
You, my darling daughter come from a long line of rolls, bellies, dimples and curves. But unlike yours they weren't always loved, kissed and caressed. Once they hit puberty they met spoken swords that turned to grown up mind grenades exploding to the looping tune of the 'I'm too fat, too dimpled, too much and thus not enough' song.
"I want you to know in your heart that no matter your shape or size you belong to a family of women whose first name is beauty and whose last name is ful(l)."
Diets, piled on hunger strikes, washed down with big gulps of humiliation, shame and an entire pantry of binges. Your mothers', grandmothers' and great-grand mothers' rolls were never celebrated once they 'failed' to 'fall off' with the 'baby-fat.'
Instead they were mocked by classmates, side glanced by lovers and scrutinized by husbands who should have known better and loved harder. All of whom had better carefully reconsidered their unsolicited daggers, because we are your friends, your lovers, your daughters and our ears were listening and our young eyes were watching.
We are a league of daughters-turned-girlfriends who grew up believing our boyfriends when they suggested that the bony structure of our post-tonsillectomy liquid diet made us look 'the best we ever had.'
A league of daughters who secretly wished for a size 0 figure for their birthday, Christmas and Easter. We were so easily persuaded that life would be filled with sparkles and unicorns when, and only when, the magical number on the scale appeared, that we missed out on years of loving life and ourselves. But baby, we were so misguided.
Now, I am your mother my darling, and I SEE your big eyes watching.
I want you to see me love myself for all the gorgeous, nurturing mamas that came before me.
I want you to see my soft belly while we blow raspberries knowing it stretched into a tent to become your home.
I want you to see the dimples on my tush while we bathe so you'll never be left wondering if you're a freak of nature.
I want you to see my thighs jiggle while we dance naked to our favourite Pharell Williams song free-dom.
Because my baby girl, you come from a proud line of loving, nurturing, loud laughing, often giggling, deeply feeling and wonderful women with curves who have been wounded by other people's aesthetic expectations and cheated by their own understanding of perfection.
I want you to know in your heart that no matter your shape or size you belong to a family of women whose first name is beauty and whose last name is ful(l). I love every bit of you and I hope with all my heart that you will grow up loving every bit of you too.
Ps: Baby Ella is sitting on a scale with absolutely no idea what she's just climbed up on. We had just played flower crowns and the way she looked at me made my words tumble. Please feel free to share my letter with your daughters, mamas, papas, opas, nieces, and goldfish.
Check out Linnie von Sky's children's books:
Pom Pom - A flightless bully tale (on bullying)
Sadly The Owl - An untold tale (on depression)
Our Canadian Love Story - An immigration tale (on immigration)
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