Ahhh, summer. Long, hot days stretching out in sixty days of leisure, travel, food and wine. It’s a great time of year for me and my girls. Two months of togetherness and agenda-less days, hours at the beach or by the pool and wonderful meals shared with friends and loved ones. It’s bliss.
I love it. With all my heart. And I embrace it, knowing the days are all too fleeting and the daily grind of the school year will soon be upon us again with its routines and rush and the fullness of the days with – stuff. And when September comes again, and my hours are filled with lesson plans and marking, with driving to activities and making lunches, with bedtimes and alarm clocks, well…then I’ll have these summer memories to look back on and cherish. And when the days are so full of obligations that I can’t imagine how I’ll be able to meet them all and still get a full night’s sleep, I’ll have another summer full of toe-gazing days to look forward to.
No, I don’t have a dark tan (when your mom dies of melanoma, you tend to be a bit more careful about covering up).
What I have, is a summer body. Looking at me, you can tell I’ve been relaxing and eating and indulging. In a way, I hate it. Look, I’ve never been skinny but my struggles with weight are no secret either. But as I make my way through my forties, I’m beginning to wonder…when is enough enough? When will I be able to embrace myself as I am, and see this body as a reflection of all the good times I’ve had and the wonderful people I’ve spent them with? When will I finally begin to feel comfortable in my own skin?
It’s a question that is really important to me as my oldest daughter heads full-bore into adolescence, with all the body insecurities that come along with it. How can I authentically support her through this time, and try to help her feel comfortable with her changing body, when my own relationship with my shape is so insecure?
Could this finally be me saying, “what the hell…I love myself as I am”? I don’t know, I’d dearly love to, but I’ve had such a conflicted relationship with my body for so long, can I really let it go?