Monday, April 23, 2012

Everyday Life: Redefining Beauty by Bathroom Mirror

Size four.

I slip my hips into size four black pants, chic, designer hand-me-downs.

I don't expect them to fit, honestly, but they zip and button and latch.

Haphazardly, I decide to wear the pants, straight-legged and fitted, to my sister’s baby shower, thankful for clothes that fit without cost, grateful for a healing, healthier body and slightly awed at this drastically new shape I have yet to fully embrace.

I’d spent years wrestling with body envy in the name of fashion before I shifted the focus from two-piece swimsuits and skinny jeans to healthy heart, healthy body mass and healthy thoughts. Slowly, my mind has shifted as my body has transformed that what makes the body beautiful has less to do with clothes and more to do with how it’s been created.

That I have strong legs, a healthy heart to carry me after little boys who play escape down the neighborhood sidewalk.

That my hips can carry an extra 30 pounds of crying child, my lips can kiss away hurts.

That my arms can hold tight my husband in full embrace.

That my body has twice grown new life and nourished children and a marriage.

During the middle of the party, I sneak off to the bathroom for a quick break and am confronted by a full-length mirror next to the sink, my long-time worst enemy and truthful friend.

Normally, I look away, but today I take it all in, this new shape.

My sister steps out of the bathroom stall, all belly and beautiful and glowing and her frame, too, is now next to mine in the full-frame reflection of the mirror, and I can't help but stare at two bodies that are perfectly imperfect and capable of so much more than I ever used to appreciate.

I’m absolutely overcome with the lovely she’s radiating, how she’s simply overflowing with life, her shirt and skirt perfectly accentuating soft curves, how her size-four body has lovingly and achingly stretched to make room for another small body, has given and grown to bring forth a tiny gift to our family, our world.

From inside those long-envied size four pants, I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t willingly trade them in for the flowing skirt she’s wearing at that very moment. 

Because beauty to me now is much less about the size four pants and much more about what fills them {baby bump and beyond}.