At A Loss

Dreamer___close_up_by_Iardacil

Today was an odd day for me…. one of memories… then one of worry and contemplation…

Thirty years ago… when I was 16…my father died today… my parents divorced when I was 12 and I lived with my dad… when he passed it was only the two of us..he was a perfectionist… a demanding father…he only told me he loved me once…but in the end…I knew he did… I remember only the best things about him….about our times together… am I a worrier today because of him?? do I get anxious if things are not going as planned?? are these traits that I have as an adult… a result of his influence? Maybe… but I loved him all the same… and I am learning to deal with my own imperfections and I am realizing… to go with the flow and accept life and its challenges… am finally finding my peace with it all… but then today… I got faced with another challenge.. one of many I will have as a mother myself.. one of many that I will be unsure of my reaction… the worrier… resurfaced…

She has always been off the growth charts in height and weight…ever since she was born…taller and bigger than others her age… she has always had this little girls belly…always…but in no way…not in any way is my baby fat…but at the age of 6… it is an issue… one that shocked me… age 6? but yes… it actually started in kindergarten last year… hanging off the monkey bars another child called my daughter “fatty” … she cried at night about herself… I supported her and comforted her… I explained that maybe instead of holding on to clothes that she loved forever and ever and she would wear even after she outgrew them…maybe it was time to let those go… we bought more better fitting clothes…  but I would watch her… in the bathroom mirror hold her arms above her head…making sure her belly was not going to show… if it did… she would change clothes… she would not wear a two piece bathing suit this summer… she always felt she needed to keep her belly covered… and my heart broke… but it seemed the thoughts were beginning to go away… I thought..

She takes gymnastics and this year decided to take dance… hip hop dancing actually… she loves them both… but to perform in a production of “The Nutcracker”..she will need to be in ballet…and she wants that… for the first time…I saw determination…something she really wanted began to show on her face… there were 2 different ballet classes to visit and try…then decide which one she would like to join…but..

Monday…she came home…her usual happy self… but then that night…she told me a boy had called her “fatty” on the playground again… we discussed the incident… again on the monkey bars… I tried to laugh it off with her… everyone shows their bellies sometimes on the monkey bars… and in no way is she fat… our week continued… she tried one ballet class on Thursday…she seemed to like it…she was laughing…enjoying… but before a final decison…she wanted to try the Saturday class…then decide…

We lay together on the couch tonight… snuggling before I had to get ready to come to work… she told me she had decided not to do ballet… I became puzzled…questioned… are you sure?? you know you wont be able to perform in “The Nutcracker” if you dont…but ok…if thats really what you want…I cant make you…but I questioned…would she tell me why?? Why had she changed her mind…?? She said your hand is resting on the reason Mommy…my hand was on her belly…I felt my heart break…how could this little child feel this way about herself…give up something that I know she wants in her heart…why give it up for this vision she has of herself…and how can I, as her mother, change this picture she has of herself…how can I do it without making her believe she is overweight… or that she needs to do something… how could I help her? I need answers… I hugged her… told her that she should not give up things based on her own picture she has of herself…that she doesnt see what I see or what others see…she asked me what I saw…like she didnt know…I see a beautiful child…one that maybe is growing faster than other girls her age…but growing faster and being taller does NOT make  you fat baby… and dont give up on things you want in your heart simply because you believe you look bad in your leotards… that is such a bad reason… and frankly…I told her if she didnt like her belly…quit watching tv and do something about it… your stomach is muscles and if you do exercises that work those stomach muscles…they will become tighter… I pointed out some of the things she does at hip hop…gymnastics…things that work those muscles already… things she could continue to do to strengthen herself there… I asked if she would like me to work out too…we used to do that together when she was 3 and 4…maybe we could do it again…but did I do the right thing?? By telling her to exercise…was I letting her think she was overweight and needed to do it?? I dont know… my heart breaks… and I dont know the answers… I just want her to be happy with herself.. with her life… with her appearance…

I have sat here tonight at work… reading articles… on children… their behavior… their emotions… how to boost their self esteem… and I still cant believe… at age 6… this is an issue… what is this world becoming… that we pressure our children… children are always and have always been cruel… but do we as parents fuel this behavior?? how do we stop it?? or can we??

Read a Time magazine article on children and obesity and it said one of the biggest problems is the parents… they dont even see their child as having a weight problem so they dont address it… I wondered if that was me… was she overweight and I just didnt want to face the reality??  I dont know… it was one of those days… no matter how much thought I put into anything around me… I was just…

At A Loss…

Grandmas HouseIf I am missing something…. someone please tell me… all I see… is a beautiful child… with a beautiful heart..

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7 thoughts on “At A Loss

  1. saffy says:

    Having a daughter myself i know how difficult this issue is…my daughter has always had a healthy appetite & for many years my husband used to taunt her (actually still does occasionally) that she would end up looking like the side of a house if she continued to eat the way she does…something i despise him for…being petite of stature myself, i was always aware of the fact that she might compare herself with me…basically because she is & always has been a slightly bigger build than me, taking after her Dads side of the family in that respect….i feel it is up to us as Mums to not only instill a sense of self esteem but to teach our children not to judge others on appearances…from an early age whenever my daughter complained about having a tummy, i used to tell her it was just puppy fat…explaining she was getting ready for a growth spurt & that was natures way of preparing so she didn’t get too skinny, when it was time…in other words, as she grows taller it will even itself out…i also used to explain that boys didn’t develop as early as girls & not to worry about being taller than them because in time she would stop growing upwards & eventually they would over take her in that department…like her Mum, my daughter developed early…from the age of around 13 she had a womans figure, which of course caused those issues to raise themselves again…especially as her friends could still buy childrens clothing, when she had to shop in the womens department…at the age of 15 she is a 32 G bra size with a nice shapely bum too, so that should give you some idea of what i’m talking about…anyhoo…what i’m trying to say is…i try to teach my children that beauty is as beauty does…tis what’s inside that counts…the rest is just packaging…& as long as they are eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, which let’s face it, most children do…it all evens itself out eventually…i also finds it helps if you make them giggle by teaching them a few good come back lines for those icky boys taunts…hehehe….btw…in years to come she will have the satisfaction of turning those boys down, when they are drooling over her & she wants nothing to do with them…

    And so endeth the waffle…hehehe. ~hugs you tight~ xxx

  2. summerrain63 says:

    Hugs you tight my friend…ty for the waffle…I like hearing from other mothers…their ideas…opinions…cause all I really want is for mine to be happy…and I want to be sure I do all I can do to make sure she is…I know she will face many things and I wont be able to help but I just want to do what I can…and I think I do ok…even today…she did decide not to go to ballet and I didnt push it…she has to be the one to want it bad enough…not me…but then later in the day….she was singing…laughing…and hearing that…its all I can ask for….

    School and its challenges are just something I have to be ready for….I am sure this wont be the last school issue I face….but thanks for the self esteem stuff…your right…i have to encourage the beauty of her…to shine…and hope everything I teach…will win out in the end…

    Again…ty for reading that long waffle of mine….hugs and kisses

  3. saffy says:

    Sometimes we are too hard on ourselves as parents…i like to remind my children, from time to time, i am learning, as i go along, just like them…xxx

  4. purple says:

    I think we model our belief in and unconditional love for our children; the rest is just doing the absolute best we can as we learn along the way. Just in a few paragraphs you reveal you are doing more than many parents ever do, although to be fair, a lot happens between mothers and daughters that fathers just never know about. I am in the midst of teenage daughter number two (16) facing the same kinds of things we awkwardly made it through with number one, who is currently 19. The issues change, but sometimes I feel like the best I can be is a lighthouse, allowing them to navigate through the storms and issues while still providing a beacon to safe harbor, to that unconditional love and acceptance they always need. (sorry if I am intruding or commenting too often, I just enjoy your candor and fnd so much to relate to.)

    • summerrain63 says:

      Oh my…you have two in the teenage years….how I look forward to those times and yes…I am rolling my eyes as I say that….its difficult these days and times….and I am new to these challenges….but I know in my heart all the things you say….and I just keep being positive and being beside her in all things…and hope her strength will shine her through it all…

      Thanks for your comment….I hope one day to give many of the things I put here on this blog…I want to give to her…poems and quotes that touched me…pictures I found beautiful….I love pictures….music that has touched my heart…well…when I figure out how to put them here…lol…but I make this journal for her….for one day I want her to read my words….I am always afraid I will die and she will never remember what I was like…what I thought about…what I enjoyed…so I guess that is why I am here…ok….blog w/in a blog….

  5. enreal says:

    She is so beautiful! It breaks my heart to imagine a little angel like this thinking she is fat… I am not a mother. I can only imagine how difficult it would be to hear these things. indeed I wonder what is this world coming to when a 6 year old has to face these things. she is beautiful and she will see this. for now I can only send my blessings to you.

    • summerrain63 says:

      thank you enreal….it is a challenge…but it seems to be getting better….she is blossoming into quite a character this year…making new friends…so the focus seems to be changing…I still see her look in the mirror…still wears long shirts to cover the belly..but…its getting better…

      sending you smiles for going back to read this….thank you…

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