I was just drying off from my shower. Naked. Glancing at myself in the mirror. Hearing the familiar voice start up in my head about what I am not doing or what I am over doing. Or it may have been the lament of "Time" this go round. How years, gravity, and wear and tear...
Ev, my 8 year old, walks in.
I was surprised and caught in the headlights.
White blinding light of: Now what? Cover up? Stand, revealed? A mix of the two maybe with a dangled towel here and there?
She was just looking in my eyes at first, talking to me. Then her eyes started roving. She stared at my belly button region that raged a war, time and again. Her hand went to her own extremely tight and etched gymnast abdomen. My hand went to mine.
"This is where you guys lived, nice and cozy."
"You are soft." was her reply.
"In some ways. But that is good for a hug. In other ways I am hard." and I mocked yelled at her, reminding her of how tough I can be. Breaking the intensity with a laugh as always.
Unabashedly she kept looking and I went about my getting ready.
"If you are too muscley- your hugs wouldn't be good." she decided.
"Well, a hug has all that love to help keep it soft, too."
My thighs were wiggling into pants. She watched.
I gathered all the back flesh I could into the front of my bra with what remains of my breasts. She watched.
"Why do you even wear that?"
"It gives me some shape up top. Most people wear them to support their breasts."
"Why bother wearing it at all? For you? I wouldn't bother."
"Sometimes I don't. Sometimes I do."
She kept standing there. I was basically clothed, but my openness and vulnerability, even with my own child, had reached it's max.
I asked why she didn't run along and play.
I didn't know how to end the scene. I don't know why I thought it needed an ending other than my discomfort and feeling of being on a very vulnerable limb of exposure, openness, and responsibility to show myself as a real body with no shame or disparaging remarks, all the while not putting down a body toned, tight, and different than my own. No doubt the body she will have.
So, I just said, "And that is me getting dressed."
And she said, "You are beautiful."
She left happy.
I was left winded.