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Bubble Bath and Contemplation

12 Jan

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My friend B told me I was brave for writing this blog so candidly. I was going to argue with her and say it didn’t count, since I was hiding behind a nickname and an email account that I had set up specifically for the purpose of this blog, but then I remembered that I was trying to stop arguing with people who gave me compliments, so I just said thank you and shut up. Well B, I’m taking things to another level with this one, because the topic of today’s post is my body, and why it rocks.

Once a day, I like to turn the heat up in Baby’s room, take his clothes off and let him play naked in his bed. He LOVES it. He can keep busy for a good 30 minutes, just looking at himself in wonder. He kicks with joy, grabs his foot and puts it in his mouth. He rolls from tummy to back, from back to tummy, examines his hands with pleasure. He loves his body, and why shouldn’t he? It’s perfect. It’s a perfect body because it functions perfectly. It can do stuff. He’s amazed at the movements he’s capable of producing. He’s mesmerized by his toes, watching them twitch as he tries to grab them.

Thirty years from now, I imagine him checking himself out in the mirror after a shower, or maybe having been with a girl, and I wonder if he’ll stand there, looking at his body in awe, thinking to himself – Damn, I’m fine! He is a boy, so that may mean slightly fewer body image issues, and still… As adults, so many of us, men and women, hate our bodies, think that they are inadequate, unattractive, faulty.

Here I was last night, taking a nice long candle lit bubble bath, and I looked at my body, at my curves, at my thighs, which I’ve always despised, my belly, which hasn’t exactly returned to form since the pregnancy, my breasts which, is seems, used to be a little perkier, my feet which I’ve always thought were oversized, and as I was relaxing in the warm soapy water, I suddenly felt uncomfortable, and I covered myself up with suds, because I didn’t really want to have to look at myself.

I closed me eyes, and took a deep breath, and I thought about my body, and what it can do. My body can run, not long distances and not very fast, but it can run, and more than that, it can learn to do things that are difficult for it to do. I couldn’t run 500 meters  a couple of months ago, and the other day I ran 3 kilometers.

What else? My body can work around the house, it can carry groceries and wash dishes. It can drive a car, and go to work, and my face can smile and my mouth can talk and laugh, and my nose can smell a cake baking in the oven, and my eyes can cry when I’m chopping an onion, or when I’m not.

My body can  wrap itself around another body, it can give and receive immense pleasure.

My uterus can conceive a baby and carry it inside me and feed it and take care of all its needs for nine months. My belly can grow and expand to five times its size and then shrink back to (almost) what it used to be. My body can tell when it’s time for the baby to come out, and it can create contractions and push and expand in places I didn’t know could expand and bring a human being into the world, and my breasts, on their own, without consulting me, can start squirting milk all over the place, to feed the little one.

With all these miracles that my body can conjure, how could I possibly not respect it, how could I not be appreciative of it? How could I not love it?

With this in my mind, I wiped the suds off my belly and breasts and examined myself, and I thought to myself: this is nice. A nice, feminine, curvy body, beautiful with its imperfections. A little plump, a little saggy, but proportional, functional, enjoyable.

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