Today, while I was out shopping, I passed by a rack of size 12s and I thought of you. Just for a moment- because the Mini-Master decided it wasn’t right that I should have my eyes anywhere but on him- but in that moment, a mix of emotions filled me like you wouldn’t believe.
I tried to deny the way that I felt, but all the great memories got to me. I thought about the trip to Hawaii when we were 17 and how I had complained about my hips and thighs then. I was 17- I HAD no hips or thighs, at least, not like now. I had a teenage body, void of birthing hips and stretch marks, wrinkles and less than ample boobage. I thought about that night when my friend was describing me to someone else and she used the words “flat stomach”. Now the only time I have a flat stomach is when I make the choice not to breathe or sit down by wearing too-tight pants.
As I walked through the store, my eyes drifted to the purses, and I thought of my ever present addiction- the one I’ve had to put on hold ever since needing a diaper bag. Even as trendy as diaper bags have gotten -and mine is PRETTY cool- they’re still diaper bags. They hold everything, though, so carrying a purse as well is kind of superfluous.
I strolled slowly by the cosmetics aisle and I thought about when I used to put on make up. I guess “used to” isn’t exactly correct; I still do occasionally, but its almost like building a sand castle near the tide now. Why put on make up when its going to be mauled off by messy face kisses and grubby hands?
I looked over at the men’s aisle as I headed toward the electronics and I thought about how many times Date Night has been thwarted. We used to have money to do stuff! We used to have the ENERGY to do stuff! We used to not need a sitter crazy enough to watch 3 boys so we could do stuff!
I perused the DVDs, looking for something kid friendly- KID FRIENDLY. I remember when our DVD collection didn’t include a single ‘G’ rating; when we didn’t need to say,”We should probably wait til the kiddos are in bed” when deciding what to watch on TV.
Buying new stuff would have to wait, though. I wasn’t here to buy a movie- I was here with a purpose. I headed to the kids/ baby department for the wipes.
Dear, sweet, Pre-Pregnancy life- as I made my way to the back of the store, where all the baby stuff was located, I kept thinking of you and how even trips to the store were different back then. Lingerie meant Victoria’s Secret, not Kohl’s Clearance; necessities meant chocolate and other junk food, not diapers, wipes, baby food, and Gerber’s Puffs; PJs meant Frederick’s, not cotton PJ sets from Kmart; and toys meant, well, nothing by Fisher Price.
I have to tell you, though- as I stood there, comparing prices on sippy cups, diapers, and wipes, it hit me what else is different about this new life compared to you.
- I waste less time on TV. Oh, sure, the TV is on, but as a kind of defense mechanism, my mind has tuned it out so as not to hear the constant chatter of cartoon characters.
- My husband and I have fallen in love with each other in a whole new way and we’ve learned to get creative with Date Nights. (To be honest, that was done out of pure necessity. It was either get creative or start carrying around each other’s photo so we didn’t forget what each other looked like.)
- And, also, to be honest, my diaper bag IS really cool. I’ve had loads of people ask me where I got my “purse” from. I don’t correct them.
- And my body? If I ever have the money or the desire for it, I can get cosmetic surgery, but I’m not really disappointed with my wrinkles. The stress wrinkles are linear badges of honor, and laugh lines should be cherished- and my boys make me laugh. A lot.
Actually, Pre-Pregnancy Life, a lot of the feelings I had while I debated the different sippy cups were feelings of thankfulness. You never got to hear a 5 year old tell his 11 year old brother that girls are made to be friends- nothing else; you never knew the pride that can come from looking at progress reports (and making a mental list of private colleges to send such smart boys); and you never knew how sweet and extremely gross -all at the same time- it could feel to have your face mauled by a 9 month old that has just eaten breakfast.
Sure, some things changed when we parted ways, but right now, as I sit next to my youngest who is slightly snoring and listening to my two older boys singing a duet of “Lollipop” in the next room, I’m pretty sure I made out better with the exchange rate.