Dear Body

Dec 3, 2019
Written by
Jessica Whitaker
Photographed by
D

ear body,

I’m sorry.

I’m sorry that I’ve treated you so poorly over the last couple years.

I remember being young and thinking that a good scar was a sign of your bad-assery.  Granted, I never actually participated in many events that could result in getting hurt, but I always imagined those zig zagging lines I’d see on other kids being road maps to their own adventures.  Even Harry Potter rocked a scar and he basically saved the whole wizarding world, right?  At least in that one book.

Scars and freckles and tilted smiles – all signs of our individuality, uniqueness, and tales of survival, perseverance, adventure.  So why is it then, that after having my son, I’ve lost my ability to see the magic in how far you’ve come and where you’re going?

Body, I’m sorry I’ve forgotten your story.  I’m sorry I’ve been trying to hide it for so long.

For almost 10 months, you moved and grew and created a whole space to nurture another human.  You created arms and legs and a body from practically nothing.  You stretched against unfolding limbs as they took up more and more space.  You literally shifted organs around to make room for a growing being.  You buffered my son from a harsh world with softness.

And as a result of all that hard effort, and your own sort of magic, you were scarred.  With beautiful stripes to remind me of the vessel that worked so tirelessly to bring my whole world into view.  With a heavy horizontal running line to remind me that not every plan works out, but that every moment is precious.  With a layer of cushion still soft, still comforting, still a home for tired heads and teary eyes and a weary little body trying to navigate this big world.

Body, you are a walking miracle.

And I vow to actually start seeing you again.  To not avoid the full-length mirror.  To not buy overly flowing clothes to hide you unless they make you feel beautiful.  To stop putting pillows over your stomach when I sit and to truly admire and be amazed by each and every new story marking your map.

We have a long way to go, but we are someone’s daughter, wife, mother, friend, and sister.  And we are loved.  And we’d never let anyone else put down the marks of their own adventures.  It’s time to embrace yours.

With love,

A “mom bod” praised.

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