I was giving my little butterball a bath the other night.
He was splashing and squeaking as I attempted to scrub around his thrashing limbs. We both ended up quite drenched but I suppose that’s memory making at it’s best, isn’t it?
Wearing a pair of orange sherbet colored sweats and a ratty sheer white tank, I heaved Ash out of the tub, rapid fire towel dried him so I could release his squirmy little pink body. Thrilled to be naked-like most men-he raced down the hallway, giggling hysterically. I prayed he wouldn’t pee on the carpet (again).
I hoisted myself up off the floor and took a breath, leaning against the mirror to catch a moment of stillness.
But then I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror.
And I habitually pulled up on my tank to look at my stomach.
Sucked in – passable.
Not sucked in – yikes.
My little belly was pudged out over my low rise sweats in a most unbecoming way. I surveyed my form in dismay and, in all honesty, shame. I felt ashamed that I hadn’t gotten it together enough to be where I’m ‘supposed’ to be . That I let late nights and mini eggs take the edge off my exhaustion and stress, rather than more productive measure. That I would never be considered attractive again because my body was the only thing I had going for me before. That people would find me less reputable in my profession because I failed to turn it around Heidi Klum style.
I was lost in this haze of criticism and despair when my little love toddled his way back into the bathroom, his solid belly proudly preceding his beaming face. He caught me scrutinizing my body, intently wondering whether this sucked in version of myself was actually attainable. He stretched both arms up my pant legs and I crouched down to his level.
He began staring at my stomach with interest, and I thought he would poke at it or blow a raspberry, which are his two favorite things to do with exposed skin.
But instead he rested his freshly washed head against my belly, and wrapped his arms around my waist.
And just held me. Giving my belly what I chose to believe was a ‘thank-you’ hug.
And I squeezed him right back, fighting the silly tears that welled up the second his body nestled in to mine.
Thank you for the perspective my love.
You’re welcome a thousand million tight little six packs over.