Growing up I expended so much energy trying to change.
Trying to be cooler. Thinner. Blonder. Prettier.

Wishing I could change things I knew couldn't change.
My height...Oh to have been 5'2" instead of 5'10".
My feet...Couldn't I pretty, please just wear a size 7 instead of a 10?
How about longer, more slender fingers?
Maybe a girlier voice?
Ok, then if I can only have one thing please make it (them?) bigger boobs.

Occasionally I succeeded...Sun-In anyone? But the feeling at the end was more hollow than Hell yeah!

Later I exhausted myself as I postured about not needing to change.
I'll chain smoke, wear combat boots with skirts, be bitter, that'll teach the world.
As you would expect that didn't exactly work out for me.

The thing that finally unlocked the change, that introduced me to the woman I had aspired to be, was the birth of my daughter. Holding her in those first moments after delivery I experienced what I can only describe as total clarity. Her solid little body flailed about as I pulled her reverently to my chest, her arms and legs shining with the vestiges of her journey. Through a heady fog of disbelief I pulled her to my breast and she became still.

I was devouring the site of this creature, this living, breathing miracle that had literally grown from my body. Her long pink feet, ten perfectly articulated fingers on two magnificent hands, swirls of auburn hair, they were all so familiar and dear. They were my own. She was simply the most beautiful thing I had ever seen and I saw she was that way because of me.(And yes, perhaps her father had a little hand in it too, but for my purposes today we'll leave him on the periphery.)

I watched my daughter as she nursed, her little hands kneading my skin. I examined my body as if for the first time, the length of my torso warming and cradling her, my large, strong hands holding her close, safe. I murmured to her and felt her body mold to mine as I buried my face in her hair. The very parts of me that I had fought against the most, were the very things providing my daughter exactly what she needed.

I had of course known that my life would change, but I had not known that this beginning would herald such a significant end. Becoming Briar's mother had meant becoming my strongest self. Leaving the hospital with my daughter and my husband I bid farewell to someone, for I left a changed woman. Staying behind was the Amanda who did not understand the value of strength, the blessing of proportions, or the virtue of acceptance. I think she was important though, because having fought against who I was and how I was made the realization that I was just right that much sweeter.

Thanks for reading this post today, I realize it was quite a departure from what you're used to. Take a look at The Wink today and you'll find Kat. My name is Amanda. I am a working mom prone to daydreaming and wild rants who lives in upstate NY and writes prodigiously on The WInk.
Special thanks to Kat for having me.
Happy New Year to all!

Ps. Thanks so much to Amanda for this wonderful post on New Year's Eve. Have a great start to your 2007!


Anonymous said…
Hey. I'm 5'11 and size 11 now (thanks to the prego weight).

Wanna start a club? :)
Dr. Bill Emener said…
I applaud you -- always wanting to be what you think you need to be or what you think you should be, ultimately leads to frustration and unhappiness. There is no substitute for a healthy self concept.
Happy New Year!
"the blessing of proportion" -- what a terrific line.
Anonymous said…
Wow ... totally a great post. I felt that way when I brought our daughter home too. It is an amazing experience!
TFLS said…
Happiness, like beauty lies within the eye of the beholder. It seems to me you are very beautiful indeed!
Karianna said…
Hey! I want to be taller with smaller boobs. (I am with you on the blonde, though)

Great post! Happy 2007!
Alex Elliot said…
One of things that I am continually amazed by with motherhood is that my sons think that I look perfect. It doesn't matter that I haven't lost my pregnancy weight or if my hair is in a ponytail and I'm wearing a ratty t-shirt, my 3 old always thinks I'm pretty (the 6 month old doesn't have too much to say on this matter, but he does always seem glad to see me!).
Anonymous said…
what a beautiful post! funny how the little things put the big things into perspective...
Damselfly said…
Oh, I love this post. That you see yourself in your daughter -- there's nothing like that, is there?

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