February 28, 2010

"The Talk"

The stupidity of some people never ceases to amaze me.

Yesterday, my 13 year-old-daughter had a scoliosis check at school. According to her, nurses came to the school and gave the test.

As she was walking me through the process, I had flashbacks of my own. How I hated those test.

Half way through her story, she stops and tells me that the Nurse said, “You have very broad shoulders for a girl. I don’t think I have ever seen a girl with as broad of shoulders as you.”

My 13-year-old daughter stopped looked at me and said, “What does that mean, Mom?”

In my mind I answered, “It means that you had an idiot for a nurse. Who obviously has no clue how deadly words like those are for a young girl.”

Then we had the talk.

Okay, you’re asking what does, “the talk” have to do with stupid nurses. Well there is, “the talk” when you are talking about, “it.” Then there is the talk that my mom had to have with me, and now in return I get to have with my daughter.

The talk starts out with reality check. When God was handing out dainty genes, we took a pass. We are big women. We are Amazon Goddess. I have heard people say there is no such thing as big bones but that is a bunch of bull. At my skinniest which was pretty darn skinny I still wore man size jewelry.

I stand almost 5’10” and if I were my ideal weight it would be somewhere around 180. For most women that is obese for me that is tiny. At 13, my daughter is only a couple of inches shy of my 5’10” and today we both reached our arms up as far as we could and she outreached me.

She is a swimmer, so yes over the years she has developed some fairly, impressive muscles in her upper body. Is my daughter tiny? Nope, not at all. What do you expect? As I said I am 5’10” both my brothers are taller than 6’4.” We come from a hardy stock of Germans. I guess I kind of wondered what it would be like if some of my husband’s family genes came sneaking in. The women in his family tend to be a little less Amazon. That does not seem to be in the cards.

Meanwhile, we are held up to a standard of beauty that would require shrinking in all kinds of impossible ways.

I had to share with my daughter all of the stupid things people have said to me over the years. Have they hurt, well yah. Then I had to share with her my own struggles about weight and learning to be healthy. I ended by saying this.

“If I spend my entire life looking in the mirror and hating what I see I will miss all that is beautiful about me. I will also be wasting a lot of time wishing for something that is never going to happen”

She gave me that famous teenage sneer. I gave her my mom smirk. Which I will give to her again on the day that she has, “the talk” with her daughter.

Hugs and Prayers


Me, Myself and I said...

S's upper body strength and long arms are what make her a good swimmer.

If it makes her feel any better, I'll tell ya what the high school track coach said to to my awkward teenage husband (and why he ended up on the swim team and not the track team)... but not online. Remind me about it.

OH! Here's a story on my blog.... about some random old lady telling me I had "good birthing hips". I wrote it just after Hollie was born.

Michelle said...


You did a great job mom.

She (and you) sound beautiful. As a VERY short woman, I look at tall women and just think glamour. I have some super tall friends at churhc, who are just bigger all around, and I think they are so pretty. Kudos to you for teaching her the right things!!! LOVE YOURSELF, you are created in God's image!

Found you on Blogher.

Anonymous said...

Great job, I was going to suggest swimming, use those great arms. But she is a swimmer. That should have been the answer to the dumb nurse. I'm a swimmer, and I love my broad shoulders. My son is 5.3 and I hate it, he hates it too. So we get what we get and deal with it. Mary