Flesh Fret

In my youth I dreamed of growing boobs – now I dream of they’re growing smaller. Miraculously smaller… and perkier. The way I wish the rest of me would shrink without changes in my diet. Magical calorie thinking works in your teens… sometimes even through early adulthood.  But once you hit 40, metabolism’s reality hits. So here I sit fecund with flesh.

My daughter is twelve.  She has breast buds which I hope grow — just not too much – I don’t want her knees to live with the fear that mine endure.  She is as comfortable in her skin as any tween can be. She critiques her ‘man shoulders’ — yet another thing she blames on dear old mom – but compliments her long, lean fingers… which are designed for piano playing … yet another endeavor I can longer force her to pursue.

They gestate. You pray. And then you get the kid you get who you have to raise. Individuality – it’s a blessing and a curse.

I am tired. For reasons that escape me as I contemplate whether tooth picks could in fact keep my eyes open better than the coffee I’m guzzling, I thought it a good idea to host a dozen tween girls yesterday. Mistakes weren’t made as it turned out. All of the girls, friends, acquaintances – girls who were enemies last week and may soon be adversaries again – crowded onto a couch to talk and laugh while watching “Blended” starring Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler.

Girls whose bodies are ¾ legs, some of whom have boobs some, I’m sure with hair ‘there’, all came together to laugh and make silly comments.  Volleyball players sat next to non-athletes, their bodies entwined in (maybe transitory) camaraderie. It was a beautiful tableau, a momentary, non-dramatic blip in these girls’ journey toward womanhood. There were moments of comfortable silence while the girls watched an amusing enough exemplar of the formulaic PG13 ‘romcom’ genre to which Barrymore and Sandler owe their careers.

After they finished the movie and three pizzas, along with popcorn and assorted other ‘nutritional’ offerings, it was time to go on to another activity. “Make-up,” suggested my ‘Mother’s Revenge,’ so off to my daughter’s bedroom they galloped. Some of them even dared to abandon their phones to play with my daughter’s copious make up collection (courtesy of her grandmother whose revenge she embodies….) which was fun to see – a group of girls improving each other even if it was only their visages and only for a moment before going home to wash up for bed.

I’m post-menopausal, my daughter premenstrual.  We are at opposite ends of the precipice of womanhood. I hope that evenings like these will allow me and those in the Village of my Motherhood to help guide our girls across a less rocky road than we had.

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