Hey You,

You know who you are. I won’t ask how you are, since I already know the answer,seeing as we live together and all.I just have some things I need to say to you that have needed saying for a while now.

Where do I even start? Perhaps a trip down memory lane. To be honest, I don’t remember much about you as a baby, but people say you were cute. I’ve seen the pictures and I agree. Those were the good old days. Do you remember? When Mama used to feed you, everyone wanted to carry you around and amuse and entertain you. I remember how you were always around Mama when she was cooking, but that was probably because you knew, even then, that being tight with the chef gets you extras. (You were one smart cookie.) You were so strange and bizarre, at least to other people you were. Your older siblings are always saying how you used to crawl weird, it’s an old family joke, which I know you really don’t find funny. I mean, why is it amusing that you used to crawl to places backwards on one leg? And besides, it’s just them saying stuff. They are probably making it up because I don’t remember you doing such a thing. I could tell you stories and stories about yourself, but there’s enough time for that. Back to what I want to say.

“You look just like your mother.” That’s what people would always tell you as you grew older. At first, it used to bother you because you wanted to look like yourself. You still hadn’t grasped how genetics work in order to understand that you had limited options: look like your mother, look like your father or look like both your mother and father. It bothered you until that day, the day you saw the picture your mum in her early twenties. Looking so conveniently sized and petite, with her tiny waist, high cheek bones, and large eyes, her gentle curves and lustrous hair. That day I remember you asked your mum, awed at her: “You used to look like that?” and she said with a contemplative smile, “Imagine, yes.” Then you weren’t so bothered about looking like your mum, in fact, you began to be proud of it. Around this time, you began to notice boys (for the record, you started that way too early) and wish that they would think you were pretty. You began to pray and wish and cross your fingers and your toes that when you grew up you would be as pretty as your mama was and, to be honest, I hoped so too. Then you went ahead and betrayed us, at least, I thought you did

You grew tall. Taller than your sisters. Definitely taller than your Mama. At some point I was worried you would be taller than your dad and brother too. Then you grew big and you were always, always hungry. Your feet would grow bigger every six months, it seemed and I began to worry we would need to get shoes custom made for you. For real, though, thanks for stopping that foot growing you were doing. Then you went through your second year of high school and came back home bigger!! To be honest though, I hardly noticed because I was still very confident about you and everything you could learn, do and be. Then the girls in school began to say things about you. As jokes, of course, but you know how sensitive I am. They made fun of your large eyes. They made fun of your legs. They made fun of your two left feet. (They were right though, you were a really bad dancer back then.)There’s even the one who made the joke about you “traumatizing” them as you walked past. Yeah, not funny. Or the time you were listed in a national magazine as “The School Hog” and someone at the National Music Festival actually recognized you and acknowledged you as “School Hog.” I really didn’t like what they said about you and I took it out on you. I stopped liking you and wishing that you would outgrow whatever in the world it was you were doing. The plan was to look like your mother and you were not sticking with the plan.

Then we left high school and I got you into that mess of a relationship that hurt me more than it hurt you. (Sorry about that.) I felt so bad, that I was stupid enough to fall for the “I’ll love you forever” line where “forever” meant “until I don’t love you anymore” and I took it out on you…by eating absolutely everything in sight. I think that was when you decided, you had had enough. You got so big that even going up a single flight of stairs with you was a feat requiring minutes of mental preparation. You were just too heavy for me to keep carrying around like that and I decided to do something about it.

Those were hard days, man. I know you don’t want me to remind you, but, the people want to hear your story, so indulge me. You hated that I would make you do squats and planks. You let me know, by how much pain I felt afterwards, that you really did not appreciate me making you support your whole body weight for a whole minute. The first time I made you run, my goodness, you panicked. You lost it. To be honest, I also had my misgivings about the running thing. The only thing you really enjoyed was swimming and I apologise for not doing enough of that. Then I made it harder on you and made you give up meat and chicken, then I made you give up ice cream, and chocolate and you retaliated by giving me food hallucinations. I didn’t know they were real until you made me have them. I would go to sleep and dream so vividly of chocolate that the next day I’d be smelling chocolate wherever I went. We’ll both be honest, though, that we lapsed a few times…okay, many times, but we got the hang of it. I made you give up eggs and cake and you didn’t even flinch. Who knows, maybe we might give up potatoes next. (Ha! As if. I laughed at that one too. Don’t worry. The potatoes are going nowhere.)You got confident about the running, you even began to like it. You still hate the weights, plank holds, crunches and sit ups but you pull through. You just soldier on and I appreciate it.

So here’s what I want to say:

I’m proud of you and I accept you the way you are and the way you are going to be. I accept that you will never be a supermodel’s size, in fact, I’m glad. I accept that you will never be an athlete on the same level with Serena Williams. I accept that you want to stay soft and not generate those man looking six-pack abs on my abdomen, and if you were planning to, don’t you dare! I’m happy that you let me take care of you and you are so responsive and grateful. What? You think I didn’t notice how well you did on the hike last Friday? I did and I’m proud. Also, I just wanted to tell you: You did it. You look like your mother. You don’t believe me…? Go look in the mirror… Do you see it? You’re in your twenties and you have large eyes. The high cheekbones. The tiny waist.(Yeah,  I noticed that as well.) The curves. Sweetie, you’re even petite, as long as you’re standing next to a guy like that seven foot man who walked past you in town today. (Wink) It’s true that in reality you are probably twice the size she actually was then but hey, maybe God decided the world would be better off with more of you in it. You’re beautiful. Know that.

With a lot of love,

Your Heart & Mind

P.S. Could you relax on the wanting babies….? We’re still single, you know.



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