I was ready to leave the parking spot in front of my daughter’s school and so I put my foot on the brake, put the car in reverse and turned to check that it was safe to back out. A couple had come out of the school office and were just about to pass behind my car. I waited patiently and watched them as they walked away before I eased my foot off of the brake and backed out.
The woman was short, like me. Brown hair, like me. She had a big butt, like me. And I had this fleeting thought: I know how you got that butt.
I know that you gained 50 pounds during your pregnancy rather than the 30 your doctor said was alright.
I know that the bones in your pelvis shifted to let the precious heads and shoulders of your babies slide through, and even though the books say that they resume their former positions, they don’t. Not all the way.
I know that you breast-fed your babies and decided that the diet could wait because it was more important that you had the nutrients you needed to make rich milk and stave off anemia.
I know that you meant to work out, but you took a nap instead, because Oh. My. God. Tired. The five hours of sleep you pieced together just weren’t cutting it.
I know that you ate the goldfish your toddler said they wanted, but didn’t really, and the cheerios, and the 3 leftover chicken nuggets and 5 bites of macaroni and cheese straight out of the pan. Because macaroni and cheese. You aren’t made of steel, for pete’s sake, and besides, grubby hands touched those snacks and you can’t put them back in the box.
I know that your left hip looks a little different than your right, because that’s your baby hip and so your flesh just sort of molded itself under your baby’s bottom into a different shape than it’s less lumpy counterpart.
I know that’s your strong arm, too.
I know that some days you stand in front of your mirror and flatten your belly with your hands, or lift your ass to remember what it looked like 10 years ago, or stare at your stretch marks and dimples and hate all of the clothes hanging behind you and walk out with a lump in your throat that stays with you most of the day.
I know how you got that butt. Same way I got mine. Your butt is a badge; it says you sacrificed yourself for love. And if you are having one of those days where you aren’t loving it, well, I will love it for you.
Hey mama, I love your butt.
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