I bought my daughter a new swimsuit.
It is green and pink.
It is Hello Kitty.
It is size 6.
Today after school she wanted to try it on so that she could play in the backyard. I helped her put it on and then she stood in front of the mirror. She pinched the side of her torso and proclaimed, "I look fat."
I just about fell over. I was so caught off guard with her comment. She is still just six years old wearing pink and green Hello Kitty swimsuits. How in the world does my girl know how to think this way? What is her concept of "fat?"
I looked at her in shock and said, "I don't ever want to hear you say that." Then she started crying hysterically. It look sometime to calm her down so that we could talk. In fact, she was so hysterical that I walked away angry. I get really frustrated when she cannot calm down. I walked into the backyard and got the hose and sprinklers ready for play. She stood at the door crying. I was angry. But then I heard a voice urge me towards conversation with my girl. This topic was important. The budding ideas of body image. This would be a part of her life as a woman, even as a girl. Unfortunately.
I picked her up and put her on the backyard swing. We swung together in the sunny Spring breeze. She informed me that she hears me say that I am fat. Oh my. Yep. She is right. I do say that. I never thought about her delicate little girl ears listening and observing her mama's words. I pictured myself standing in front of the mirror and saying, "I am fat," all the while a little girl watched on. She told me that she doesn't look like herself anymore. That her body just "looks different" and it makes her cry. My heart aches.
I asked for her forgiveness for calling myself fat. I told her that God made me and that God made her and that He made us beautiful. He made us exactly who we are. No mistakes. She calmed down. Her big beautiful blue eyes streaked with tears. Listening to my words. Trusting in what I say. Always listening to her mama, even when I tear myself down. She is listening. My heart aches.
It begins, I guess.
Her growing into a lady.
Her journey beginning today.
At age six.
My journey begins today as well.
Teaching my daughter how to love herself.
Learning not to tear down,
but to build up.