I asked my youngest daughter Boo, “Do I look fat in these jeans?” This past Saturday. I was trying to get dolled up to go on a date with my husband. Now mind you, Boo is a 13-year-old girl. She’s overweight, but acts more confident than I know she is. She makes poor food choices and disregards portion sizes. She secretly snacks and hides the dishes or wrappers in the cushions or wherever. She’s become very sedentary. Up until this past year, she has run track and played soccer. Both quite well. She is a natural athlete. It’s highly likely that she will make varsity on a competitive class B soccer team as a freshmen. She is also a senior-level competitive dancer. Has danced 10-16 hours a week for the past five plus years.
This past November we discovered the source of her lingering lower back pain. An X-ray confirmed a Spondylolisthesis She has been in a back brace since early December. Five days ago her neurosurgeon (and to our fortune, an elite specialist in this disorder,) instructed that she wear her brace 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week. For the next 4 weeks. OMFG!!! I had already given up the battle with wearing it while awake. So five days in and “bribery” seems to be working. But she’s really uncomfortable and sad. She will not be able to dance in the recital in May. I’m sad for her. I’m sad for me. In my 15 years as a dance mom, there have only been 2-3 years without a recital. The last 6 have been consecutive. So, I’m sad for me too. I will miss the hustle and bustle of the weeks leading up to and including the Recital Weekend in early May, surrounding Mother’s Day and my birthday.
I’m really dreading May. There will be many triggers and difficult days. Too many. I know something went on that week with my husband and Mouse. The number and timing of texts tells me so. I recall events and conversations around that week. I have a few emails they exchanged for that week. I even called my husband out in his careless and erratic behavior. He was truly bazaar. “We” bought “me” a new car. One he decided on. I had very little say in it. In his defense, I didn’t put up a good fight. But I was uncomfortable with it. He knew that, but we did it anyways. He assured me it would be ok. To complicate it, the asshole salesman called him the next day and offered a second car, a good deal. He bought it. Literally. He assured me. We now own 2 new cars. I hate mine. He doesn’t think his behavior was off, doesn’t remember the events I’ve called him on. Doesn’t remember anything about seeing Mouse that week; insists that “I wouldn’t have made plans to see her because it’s Mother’s Day and your birthday.” Yeah. “Thanks for the special consideration. Asshole.” But I know something was off. Way fucking off. He doesn’t remember. Say it with me, “What a fucking Asshole!!!” Validation helps. Anyways. I hate my car. HATE IT! As soon as I can get a grip. I’m going to get trade it for something new. Regardless of the loss. Good fucking riddance. To say I’m apprehensive about it this year’s recital season is an understatement. I’m counting the days until the calender says 2016. Not sure the significance of 2016, but my mind had determined it to be a benchmark. I don’t know what for. Yet. Maybe when I get there… So, I guess missing our annual recital activities and festivities will be a hidden blessing. I’m not really feeling it. Nor am I active or festive.
So my major self-esteem and body image issues, damaged self (familiar ghosts…) in the wake of his affair is trying to get dolled up for our date. And I ask my Boo such a ridiculous question. “Do I look fat in these jeans?” WTF was I thinking?
She looked at me with a horrified expression and I couldn’t back-peddle fast enough. “Because I haven’t worn them in years!” and “They are tight!” I think I was able to recover and save face. I sure hope! I really don’t want her thinking that “I think I’m fat.” I really don’t. I’m not. It’s just the whole lack of esteem thing.
But she’s had a rough year. This brace is going to be a challenge for the next 23 days. She’s texted me this morning letting me know it’s bothering her still. She took Motrin before going to school. The school RN is going to give her Tylenol. I truly feel for my baby. So with a strong shield of confidence, she is dealing with her own “13-year-old 8th grade girl issues.” I truly hope she is as strong as she appears. She’s gained a few pounds with the added restrictions of no “fun” activity imposed by her brace and doctor. Her brace affects her choice of clothing. And she’s very fashion conscious. But her straps, seems and waistbands impress upon her so she wears loose and baggy cloths. All these things can weather a struggling self-esteem or budding body image issues.
I hope my ridiculous question hasn’t crossed her mind, because the me before Dday would never have asked such a potentially damaging question of my fragile baby girl. I so love her. She truly completed my family.
My husband and I went out and had a wonderful evening. Truly. I can honestly say that we have a few new memories. We even poked fun at his affair and laughed at a “sarcastic jabs” I made in reference to his affair. He made an ice bar in our back yard. We bundled up and shared a bottle of wine outside. Talked easily and comfortably and played a trivia Game. It was a welcomed reprieve from our current state. For both of us.
Sometimes it just feels so awkward and fake.
But my girls really rock my world❤️