Are you ready?
No, seriously - get ready.
We're about to talk about my thighs.
Here are some things I try (sometimes desperately) to hide:
- my thighs. So original, I know - I'm a woman and I question the presentability of my thighs? Earth shattering. But it's true. These leggings and these pants (the style I always wear) make my thighs mostly acceptable, but when they're naked? They move around. They're not as toned as the thighs I admire, nor are they as motionless.
- my cattiness. My insecurity and tendency to question the validity of my place in the world can cause me to pass judgment on other people's choices. I try not to bring these judgments down from my brain and into real conversations, but sometimes I do. And then I feel like shit. Covering up my own ick feelings with judgment is one of my least favorite characteristics. I try to hide and mask and cover this, and I also try to fix it, but I don't always succeed.
- the fact that I don't know what the hell I'm doing, like, ever. I often, for example, look at my kids and think, "Jesus, does anyone know that I have children!? I mean, I'm not grown-up enough for this! How is this allowed!?" I then worry momentarily about the logistics of not-real-adults raising kids, but then remember that I need to cook dinner and snap myself out of it. Or, I realize that I haven't written a blog post in two weeks and panic that no words will ever come again, and then worry further that, really, they shouldn't come again because who the hell do I think I am writing here anyway? I mean, don't these people know that I have nothing wise or interesting to say? "The jig's up, sister," I think. "You don't know what you're doing and they're going to know it soon, too."
- the coloring of my eye skin without make-up. F'realz. Eye skin is a thing and I don't like the color of mine. It's too dark and uneven. Make-up fixes this problem quite easily and remarkably well; I almost never go out in public without my eyes on.
Okay, but my husband? He sees all the things. When I wake up in the morning and get out of bed and put some comfy pants on, my husband is there and he sees my thighs and my uneven eye skin and still he comes up behind me and puts his hand around my waist and kisses my face (not my mouth because we are vehemently against pre-brushing kisses). All the things I try to hide from you, everything I try to cover with make-up and clothing and therapy? He sees all of it.
He sees me pre-everything and he loves me anyway. The person who chose to love me more than anyone else in the world knows about all of my questionable, jiggly, moody, discolored, mean parts and he still loves me more than anyone else in the world. He's not all, "Yeah, you're gross, but I still love you" either. He's more like, "Goodness, are you a real person. I love you for that. And I think you're cute and funny. Let's keep making a life together." It's like that scene in Good Will Hunting when Robin Williams is telling Matt Damon about how his wife, who's died, used to fart in her sleep. "That's the good stuff," he says. "That's the stuff I miss the most." When Tim was away I missed wiping his stray mustache trimmings off the bathroom sink. And the way he makes this big, loud, shouting groan - with a huge, wide smirk on his face - when he stretches his whole body.
I can be really selfish. I'm sometimes mean and spiteful. My insecurity can cause me to create dramas that simply don't exist. I don't always express my gratitude sufficiently, and often expect too much of my children. My body would look different if I ate more cleanly and exercised more rigorously. And sometimes my words come out wrong, and then they sting.
And yet, somehow, there are people who love me. Not because I'm flawed, but in spite of my flaws. They see the mess and they say, "Okay. I'm still in." And holy hell if that kind of love doesn't feel good. Because you don't feel like you're getting away with anything. There's no, "Yeah, but they're going to find out the truth." They know the truth and they're still playing ball.
I want more of this. I want all of my relationships to be as Like This as possible. I want us to stop by each other's dirty houses. I want us to invite each other in, wipe some crumbs off the couch, and then sit. Our toes might be unmanicured. Our feet might be cracked and dry. Our eye skin might not be covered with make-up. And I want us to never have loved each other more. I want us to trust each other enough to wear bathing suits without the predictable and tired comments about how horrible the trying on was, how we didn't know so many people were going to be at the river today - we'd have worn our one piece otherwise. Think about how many more things we could talk about at the river if we didn't start each interaction with an apology for bringing the body we happen inhabit along with us.
I want us to stop apologizing for being people.
It's going to be damn difficult for me to walk this walk. But I'm just going to put this out there: if you see me around and I'm a little bit jiggly and my eye skin's uneven and I seem like a bitch because I'm feeling insecure because I'm unsuccessfully parenting in public, come on over and say hi.
I will do my best to love you and, if I'm lucky, you might love me back.
Big, jiggly love,