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Jan 4, 2007

Weight and Kids

I just read a piece here and as I started to leave a comment, I realized it was getting rather long winded- so instead I decided to write it down here in my own little place.

I have always been "a big girl" and am now a woman. My petite mother used to ask me why I walked like a lumberjack. So sweet. I don't think it was an ill intentioned comment, really. It's just that she, like her own mother, has always had weight issues. I can so clearly picture my mother and me in the grocery store. She, pointing to a woman further down the isle, asking me "is my butt that big"? Uhmmm...?? I don't remember how old I was, but I do recall that I was not yet a teenager. I can also envision my mother exercising to Jack LaLanne. Walking around on that same butt, legs stretched out straight in front of her, arms bent at the elbow, swinging back and forth. I would watch Jack LaLanne, hoping for a sighting of Happy, the dog. Shows where my priorities were! What I remember is that she was driven to keep the pounds off, it wasn't about staying fit. Or at least that's how I remember it...

Even now, the first thing my mother comments about after she sees someone she hasn't seen for a while is how much weight they have gained, or lost. Food and weight are constantly in her conversation. When my first son was under the age of two, she was sure to tell me, that it was OK for him to drink nonfat milk so he wouldn't gain weight, get fat. He was a baby for God's sake! A child that is, and always was, in the 5Th percentile for weight- Skinny!

I recognize that I am overweight and in fact, fat, and am reasonably comfortable with that. Sure, I could lose some weight. I would feel better, look better, have more energy, and be healthier. Here's the thing. I like food. I like to cook it, smell it, shop for it, and eat it. As a result, I look the way I do and that's just the way it is. I can't be sure if it is rebellion towards my mother (after all these years) or just who I am. Some days I wish I weighed less, had less cellulite, and overall was more fit, but I don't dwell. It's never too late and someday maybe it will happen, or not.

Meanwhile, fat, around our house is not a bad word. I use it to describe myself and let my kids know that some people are offended by the use of the word- that sometimes it hurts feelings. And that any descriptor can be offensive... Long ago my good friend, who tried hard to be over 110 pounds so she could donate blood, had a conversation with me about weight and how people are of course offended by the use of the word fat. She also told me something I had never thought of before- Skinny people can also be offended by being called skinny. There are people who try and try to gain weight, and can't, and they too, get tired of being called skinny or getting asked about their weight. No one asks a fat person how much they weigh, but people would ask her how much she weighed all the time. She never felt like she weighed enough. I have never forgotten that conversation. It's all perspective, really.

Which reminds me... A good friend wanted to kidnap a few of our kids for a couple of nights. Kelli lives a couple of hours away, so we agreed to meet halfway and loaded three kids into the back of her car. I had my pangs and the thoughts of all of them getting killed while not in my care ran through my head. The ativan, sadly was at home, but I digress...

Off they drove- and they are having a grand time! But, the point here is that when we returned home from the drop off we only had five kids- On the way we stopped for dinner and it was quieter around the table, we only had to put five kids to bed, five kids for breakfast, five kids all day, and now as I write this there are only four at home. Our oldest, Leo, was invited over to a friends for a sleepover. One more gone. Four kids, we've never had four kids! Our family grew by leaps; one to three to five to six to eight. It is sooo much easier with five or four than eight! Of course this is crazy talk to parents of fewer numbers and I realize that.
Which, once again brings me to the conclusion that it is all perspective!

We have plenty of friends with one, or two, or even three kids. And it's hard. Hard to get them to bed when they are supposed to, hard to get them to eat healthy, hard to get some alone time, hard to run errands... And it's true! I've always thought that and said as much to friends when they shake their head at me and inquire as to "how do you do it"? It's all what you get used to is my usual response, and I believe that.

It really doesn't matter how much you weigh or how many kids you have- It's all perspective.

It is what it is, every one's reality is there own, No?


Bohemian Girl said...

I found you through Taylor Parker's blog. There was a lot of insight here. Thank you for sharing.

You have 8 kids?!?!? Wow. That is so cool. If you ever take time to read my blog, you will discover that my hubs and I have been trying for 2.5 years to conceive. Quite the opposite, eh?

Perhaps by reading your blog, I'll pick up on some baby mojo. *smile*

Take gentle care and I LOVE to eat too!

Tracey said...

Exactly. Perspective. And that's why we all have to be careful of what we say and how we say it.

I know how much easier it is with just 1 child less, so I can only imagine how much easier it would be with 3 or 4 less!! Enjoy your "free" time.

elenajane said...

you are absolutely right, it's a matter of perspective. taking two of ours out to lunch last week, the meal seemed quiet to us. to anyone looking on, it was not. but our older three were at school!
we had just as many issues with one or two or three as we have with five. god bless you with your eight!! :)

**found my way here via a comment in someone's blogs**

Sandy. said...

YES! All a matter of perspective.

Temporarily missing one or two or three totally changes dynamics. It makes a difference. Why is it then, that adding one or two extras is really no big deal? Bizarre.