Do you keep a journal – or wish you could get one started? Literary Mama wants to help. Several times a month, we'll post a writing prompt. Open a notebook and write for 10 minutes. Don’t worry about grammar or punctuation – just write.
Small Children, Small Problems. Big Children, Big Problems
As a baby, Caroline cried loudly and often. She was sensitive to sound, light and texture. No amount of concealer could cover the dark under eye circles that accompanied my constant fatigue. Friends and family would remind me to enjoy those years. “Small children, small problems. Big children, big problems”, they would say.
I thought they were all crazy.
A few weeks ago, I took Caroline, nine years old and nearly five feet tall, jean shopping. We spent an hour trying on jeans with names like ‘Skinny’, ‘Twig’ and ‘Painted On’. Time and time again, the jeans were too tight and Caroline, while tall, is far from overweight.
As she wrangled a pair of too-small jeans over her hips, she looked at me and said, “Mom, I’m fat, aren’t I?”
I looked her in the eye and told her how gorgeous she is and how wrong jean companies are to sell to only one body type; the “Twigs” and the girls who can and want to wear jeans that are “Painted On.”
Caroline is not yet ten years old and the fashion industry has convinced my gorgeous, strong, intelligent and creative girl that she is fat.
I think back to all the people I distrusted when Caroline was a baby. The ‘small children, small problems’ people. Turns out they were not crazy after all. Our society and their skinny jeans are crazy.
I love the growing ‘tween-ness’ in my oldest daughter. I love that we can share shoes and books and laugh at the same jokes. But I do miss those sleepless nights and my defiant toddler who did not yet know a society that would judge her on the circumference of her thighs.
In your journal today, write about a transition to a new stage of motherhood. What do love? What do you miss? What is different than you expected? Or the same?
Do you have a writing prompt to share with Literary Mama readers? Send your 150- to 300-word narrative and associated writing prompt to lmblogeditor (at) literarymama (dot) com. We'd love to read your ideas!