It was a lovely afternoon. Sun shining, clothes laundered and folded, kitchen scrubbed, and me propping my feet up feeling mighty satisfied. Then I looked down and my legs. My pasty, jiggly, bruised, veiny legs. Before I could even filter my words, I found myself actually uttering the words I’ve thought countless times.
“You uuuugly.” And then it happened.
Um, who was that?
It’s us, braniac. Your legs. You know, the ones that have carried you around for nearly your whole life.
Uhh, you heard that?
Of course we did. Both when it comes out of your mouth and every time it whizzes through your head. Every. Time.
Uuuhhh, well…I mean….
Yes, we are looking a bit worse for wear these days. And our joints? A bit cranky. And we hate that for you. Really. We do. But let me ask you something. Is there anything about us that makes you smile? Makes you proud?
Anything. Really. Throw us a bone, will ya?
Well, there was that one time my little brother and I decided it would be a good idea to poke a possum with a stick. I never knew you could whisk me into the house and behind my mother’s skirts so quickly.
Nice start. Anything else?
Hmmm. We used to really cut a rug together. Pirouettes, Thriller, the running man, dancing like a maniac in the kitchen with my kids. That’s always brought me great joy, even if I looked like a complete dork doing it. No comments, please.
Not even one teeny weeny one?
And how about the time we were at that SWAT Team hostage situation in Houston. You ooched my 17 year-old-self right under that KPRC news van before I could say, “Does fresh asphalt stain Laura Ashley dresses???” Thanks. Like, really.
Our pleasure. Really.
Then there was the time I thought you were going to give out on me, not wanting to see my dad all wired and tubed up post-heart surgery. A slight buckle, but you shored me right up and marched me right in there.
We did. It was a sweet moment we’ll never forget.
Down the aisle, to my love. And into the hospital, to welcome my babies. To far-flung places, helping me discover who I am. Over the mommy years, running, playing, skipping, skiing, hiking. All right next to my people. Making memories. Having fun.
Do you remember all those miles and miles of training we put in? Running a half-marathon before I turned 40. Turns out you went above and beyond and we did two. Couldn’t have done it without you.
Perhaps not, Einstein. But seriously, we still remember the tears of joy. And maybe a bit of pain.
Let me ask you something else. What would you say if you heard your kids talking to another person the way you talk to us? And not just my buddy and me, but the whole package.
I know. You wouldn’t stand for it. We know that you try to be a loving, kind person to those around you, but guess what? We are someone, too. We are YOU. And we LOVE you. Even on our crankiest days, we want good things for you. We ALL do. Right, batwing arms? Jiggly mommy belly? Squishy fanny?
Call me crazy, but they all answered. In unison. In love. Right there on my sofa. I heard it y’all. Really. Have I been kinder to my body since our little chat? Well, I’m still working on that. In the mean time I am learning to see all of my parts as me. And not in a way that defines who I am by the way that they look, or even perform (heaven help me). Me. My story. My memories. The memories of the people I love. May I learn to be more kind. Both to others and to myself. And may I learn to never EVER post pictures of my legs again. Amen.