I feel big and thick. I am dough, spongy dough. I careen outside the coloring lines where the princess poses. I have overdosed on hieroglyphics and now I can never fit the mold again. The air around me fills with the smell of oats with raisins, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds. Rich, Irish butter goes all over it, with a little honey. It warms me down to my bones.
I sense my female self full in the thick gray air around me, beyond the skin I’m in.
During puberty, when my traitor body bulged and grew in expanding directions without my permission, I used to dream of slicing off the wider fat around my thighs with a butcher knife.
I would live in a smaller version of me, accepting the change from girl to woman only after years of therapy.
They say your children shine out, boldly embodying our most unloved selves. Loving them demands we turn, look in the mirror, and embrace all that makes our skin crawl.
I recall all that surprise flesh. It came out of nowhere. It seemed to hijack my childhood, and steal my father, who recoiled from the emerging woman— me. I decided I must be a beast. When the teasing at school started up, I accepted the fate I thought I deserved. I have since claimed back from my dad (and anyone else) the authority for whether I’m okay as a woman.
My daughter is bigger than I am. I alternate between loving her smart, funny, kind and gorgeous self utterly at any size, and wishing to reign her in. My own dark foulness horrifies me. I know my only hope at being worthy of this amazing young woman is to look within. I return to the feeling of the physical world growing and widening in ways bigger than I can conceive or control. Have I ever let my life grow big and wild and what would that look like?
I cry “Yes” into the gray dawn mist of the Grand Canyon. Yes, now I would morph large in unexpected ways!
Much of me is mid-air. Much of me couldn’t fit inside those lines I drew at age 10. She waits for me in this ether. Through my frozen adult frame, I yell “Hi! Come on in. I’ve been waiting for you!” My paralyzed form softens a bit. My wide eyes blink as after years. I nod. That’s about all I can get out of the frozen me, but it’s big. We’re going! Every child knows they just need that one nod. They don’t need a fully on-board parent, just the permission to flow flow flow fast toward what awaits!
The big She.