My body bore me 4 beautiful, healthy babies, in rapid-fire succession. When I get out the door, it runs a solid 3 miles – perhaps more if I had the gumption. On the mat it will twist, bend, open and stretch.
It tells me when I’m hungry so I can taste and enjoy 3 daily meals and numerous snacks. Each morning I can gaze at the orangey-red sunrises while listening to the birds play their song.
I can chop an onion, carry a load of laundry and decorate my toenails in a bright, happy red hue.
I cannot tell you the last time I was in physical pain. There’s the childbirth. And the time last June I dropped a bowl on my toe and thought it was worse than childbirth. But when I walk up the stairs, pick up another dozen sandals off the floor or lift a sleeping baby, I don’t hurt.
God, I’m simply not thankful enough for my body.
It serves me well. More than well, given the crap I love to feed it and the way I ask it to work overtime, nourishing a little one at the same time as it keeps up with routine maintenance on a 30-year-old body.
This hunk of flesh and blood deserves more than criticism for the decreased bra size after it served as the sole source of sustenance for 4 living, breathing beings. The pouchy midsection, a remnant of 5 constant years of pregnancy, isn’t a “problem area.” I should appreciate it like a runner does the pair of shoes that carried her across the finish line of her best race. Perhaps there’s a bit of tatter, but what a run. It was worth it.
When I step back, my critical attitude and my outright indifference toward these bones doesn’t make sense. This is the vessel in which I’ve set sail. It’s got some dings and nicks and perhaps it’s as fast as the newer models, but in order to keep it pristine, I would have to leave it at the dock.
I will see its beauty when I treat it with love, care and respect.
(This post was inspired by an article that has rattled around in my heart.)