Dedicated to my daughter with L.O.V.E.
May you come to understand your past and discover your future.

Friday, March 26, 2010

You Have Lines

Dear Emma,

The other day, you put your fingers on my belly and traced my stretch marks. You are always more intrigued with my belly ring, but that day, you seemed to notice, and admire, my lines. You traced them ever so delicately, as if to not cause me any kind of pain, or perhaps you were trying to read them, know there story without asking me, but you asked anyway.

Emma: You have lines mama.

Me: Yep, they're called stretch marks.

Emma: Stretch marks? Is that because you do a lot of stretching *stretches arms up high to the sky*

Me: No, they came when my belly was stretching when you were inside of it.

Emma: Does everyone have them?

Me: Not everyone, but a lot of people do.

Emma: Oh.

And then you proceeded to trace them again, with the same delicacy, but with added understanding and acceptance. I have realized since you were small(er) that "I" am your first, and most important role model where body image is concerned. Since you were a toddler, you have been taking in, and admiring my body, and comparing my body to yours. Although you did not breastfeed, you were quite fond of breasts - my breasts and the breasts of others. No ones cleavage was safe from your touch. You would put my bras on your body as you sat on the bed and played, waiting for me to get out of the shower. And later, you would compare your little size to my large size, and look forward to yours being as big as mine one day. The joys of having a little girl =). And beyond breast appreciation and stretch mark tracing, you are fascinated with my body hair. Yes, you are! My arms, my legs, my everything else. Again, you compare mine to your sprouting leg hair and aspire to be just like mama.

I'm very proud of the fact that you can look at me and see yourself; I'm very proud of the fact that I can be a mirror for you in so many aspects of your life. Taking things one step further, on my quest to teach you to love your thick, kinky, curly, nappy, long hair, I decided to cut off all of my relaxed hair and go natural. I have my personal reasons for doing so, but one of the most important was to be a source of inspiration and an example for you. You have wanted your hair straighten, and I allowed it once, but I wanted you to see that you don't have to have straight hair to be beautiful... its a choice, not a requirement. All hair is beautiful. I don't think you have ever felt unpretty, but with your friends having hair that is different from yours, and with folks telling you that your hair is nappy and making a fuss, and with me having a perm in my hair, why wouldn't you want straight hair too? So, I joined you. Just as you admire me, I admire you and your full crown, and now I am growing my afro out so I can be just like YOU!


1 comments on "You Have Lines"

Execumama on March 26, 2010 at 4:40 PM said...

Damn, Barbara! This bought tears to my eyes. I got no stretch marks with Marley, but when Sage came around, I got the full monty, and truth be told, I struggle with the idea of them being a part of my reality. This post made me feel silly (in a good way, if that makes any sense) about "hiding from a part of my body, especially because it's something that signifies the precious gifts that doctors told me I wouldn't be able to have after my myomectomy.

It's not even like I went around showing my belly every day, pre-Sage, but somehow, feeling like i CAN'T show my belly is an issue for me. What the hell? Why the hell? I need to think...

Anyhoo - I LOVE THIS! You freakin ROCK!


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