Thursday, July 15, 2010

The best of times, the worst of times

198 pounds
Dear friends of ours had a baby yesterday—what a great gift his birth seems during a time of much sadness in our household. (One of our parents is very ill and dying.) Whenever things get to be too much these days, I think of the new baby getting to know the wonderful world around him, and it's hard not to feel at least a little bit better.

Because I'm "middle-aged," I have dozens of friends and family members who have young kids—all of them so adorable and enjoyable that it's hard not to think about taking their kids home with me whenever we visit. And during one of those joyous visits this year, a good friend of ours confessed something to me that is both hilarious and frightening.

She told me that when her daughter was still a toddler, she sometimes worried that people would think her baby was too fat. She said this while at the same time admitting that she knew it was completely messed up for her to worry about her little girl's weight—according to the doctors she was well within the normal range—but confessed that knowing this didn't completely stop her from worrying about it.

And what worried her even more was what it said about her—about all of us—if she worried about the weight of a baby. Because what it said was that we are all really, really f***ed up if we are so body conscious that we can't even look at a toddler without thinking, "Maybe I should put my eighteen-month-old on a diet."

As I think about this and wade through one of the saddest periods of my life—and because of our friends' new baby, one of the most joyous—I find myself thinking more and more about what's most important in this life. And I know with certainty that feeling bad about ourselves because we're a few pounds overweight is not one of those things. So I hope that we can change things for all of our children by creating a world where beauty comes in more than one size.

Let's make it happen.