It’s amazing how many lessons a person can learn every day, if they’re up for it. Since having Garrett I’ve discovered things about the world and myself that are constantly surprising. Tonight, for example, I learned the difference between a Spinosaurus and a Dimetrodon. In the last three years, I’ve learned I’m capable of bathing, clothing, feeding and loving a child in ways I never knew I could. And I’m constantly learning how to be less worried about every little stupid thing that’s wrong with me, because I’m more concerned with what’s going on with someone else now.
These last two summers were eye-openers for me. When you have a kid and you live in Los Angeles and you go places that have pools, that kid usually wants to get into the pools and swim. Apparently it’s not okay for infants and toddlers to swim by themselves, so an adult usually has to be with them. Guess who swims with Garrett? ME! After the age of 30, it was rare that I would ever get into a bathing suit because the thought of someone seeing me in it gave me the chills. But now, when Garrett wants to swim, Mama puts on her suit and swims! It’s a matter of me thinking about G having fun instead of who’s staring at my unbelievably white and not-very-toned upper legs.
This brings me to today. I have a zit on my chin that’s so big, a family of four could live there comfortably. I am not exaggerating. Okay, maybe a family of three. But there would be so much room for them! This thing is huge. My husband can literally not look at me without starting at IT. He doesn’t even try. It’s like my face is a hot chick and the zit is her huge boobs. “Hello! My eyes are up HERE!” Get the point? It’s big. It’s really unfair to people for me to even leave the house because I’m putting everyone in the terrible position of having to act like they don’t see it. They DO see it. Believe me.
Years ago, there is no way I would have left the house with this thing on my face. I would have been ashamed and disgusted. I would have tried to hide it, worn my hair as huge as possible, worn a scarf too high on my neck… And this would have all been in the HOUSE. But I have a son and he had a dentist appointment and I also promised him a trip to the mall and a special pancake lunch with Daddy. And I didn’t even think for one second about anything else but getting him up and dressed and taking him all over town. We even stopped in on our friend who owns a store and said hello. I pointed out the zit (as if I even had to) and told him it was ok if he couldn’t look away. But I seriously didn’t care! I had a great day. No one pointed and laughed (to my face), no one ran screaming from any room I was in. And I wouldn’t have cared if they did because Garrett and I were having a blast, he got a great report from the dentist, and pancakes make me happy.
I know it sounds silly, but to me it’s a major victory. My stupid vanity takes a backseat now to things that are far more important. And that’s awesome. I’m not saying I no longer care about this stuff, because I do. Of course I do. But I don’t let it take over my life like it used to. I’m actually sad about all the time I wasted in my life, hiding because there were things I didn’t like about myself. It only took 38 years to stop that. Now I have the rest of my life to inflict my hideousness on the world. And I will. Because I have a son and, according to various studies, I can’t sit in the house watching Nick Jr. with him all day.
I hope you enjoyed the artist’s rendering of my zit, drawn by my darling husband, Russell Arch.