Wednesday, May 6, 2009

mama marks

As crazy as I get with nit-picking the things I want to change about my body, there are some things that I actually don't mind. It helps me, on days when I feel bound by body-image neuroses, to remember the small things I like.

I wish I didn't store any extra weight in my hips and thighs, and I wish that my body overall was more toned, more...uplifted, shall we say?

But I don't think I'm in a hurry to get rid of my stretch marks. Not that I love them--not that I'm raring to show them off. But they're meaningful to me, meaningful enough that I would feel strange and somehow lost without them.

One day, Reed saw my belly as I was buttoning my pants.
He asked, "Mom? What are those?"

I asked (just to be clear), "What are what?"

"Those marks. Stripes. On your stomach. What happened here?"

"Oh, these?" (And here I was stalling for time, trying to find the positive explanation for something I don't often feel that positive about.) "These are.....these are marks that show I'm a mom. They show that I had a baby in my belly, and they show that my belly grew when that baby grew. These are my mama marks."

He smiles and says, "Mama marks. Like me? Like when your belly grew with me in it? When I grew?"

And I smile and say, "Yes. Like that."

"Can I touch them?"


"....Soft. And shiny. Hey look! They change color."

"Like fish...."

and later
"Can I see your mama marks again?"

My little boy doesn't find them ugly at all. The colors of nature, the marks of motherhood, right there on my body, are not repulsive to him. Because they are evidence of my willingness to be his nourishment, his protection.

I can live with my stretch marks. I can even like them.


Heidi said...

Thank you for sharing this.

I think I'm coming to that peace with my c-section scar. For so long it was just this excruciating reminder but now it feels like a mark of victory - that my body did everything it could to keep Bennett safe as long as possible and when it was time, I made the choice that I knew would give him the safest journey into this world.

At least I'm trying to think of it that way. :)

I wondered about your comment earlier, I think I understand a bit more now.

Anna said...

Mama marks, that is so much better than stretch marks.

Kelly said...

Rae, I can't get enough of you tonight. Your pictures, this post, your brownies!! I don't think I'll be able to sleep tonight. You make me too happy!
Mamma marks--awesome.

Crystal said...

Loved this. I have LOTS of mama marks.

Emnacnud said...

thanks Rae, i love that, mama marks it really should be a badge women wear for the great gift they bring and for the right of passage the show. they are something to be proud of.

Kristy said...

I nominated you for Best Utah Mommy Blogger on Hope you don't mind :) I love your blog!

Bridget said...

I'm smiling ear to ear right now. So cute!

My Family said...

Cody's Mom use to call them her battle scars, she would tell her boys that she fought hard for them (her boys) and came out with the best gift (them) and her scars were just small reminders of the hard battle she fought and that she loved having those reminders.

I can't say that I love my strech marks but it is a daily reminder to me of the battle I too fought to bring my babies safely here.

Patrick said...

I love this post! I love you!

carajean said...

I like mine too.