Trout was giving me a hard time about her being "a stick" and me decidedly not being a stick, more like the opposite of stick. We had a long discussion about body types and image and how "stick" isn't something to aspire to and she really shouldn't become all that attached to her stick, because it likely is fleeting. We talked about how having a healthy body is most important, regardless of appearance, because I used to be a stick myself, and I never, ever learned good eating habits because I could. eat. anything. Whole chocolate cakes in one sitting, and never gained an ounce. Until I did. I had to learn good habits the hard way, later, when I had to for my own health. And I don't want her to have to go through that.
She was quiet for a while, then said "You were a stick? Come on, Mom." I showed her my wedding picture, but that big puffy dress really didn't help the issue. Not what I wanted her to take away from the conversation, but she IS 13. I know she heard me, but I'll be the last person she'll show.
We're in the process of cleaning out our basement, which we use primarily for storage, so that we can put desks down there and make it a reading/homework/crash room for the bigger kids so they can get some space away from the littles. As we were going through the 9,487 rubbermaid bins and purging an embarrassing amount of stuff, I found a perfect case-maker. My prom dress, circa 1988, hand made by my aunt (in Colorade while I was here - she made my wedding dress too and she's awesome) and so kept for all these years. This one:
In all my best-I-could-do not-big hair (oddly, on the hair front, when I was pregnant for the fourth time my hair went curly with more body and NEVER WENT BACK. I would have done ANYTHING, and spent a huge amount of money attempting, to get my hair to do what it does without my asking now).
So what did I do?
"Hey, Trout, c'mere! Put this on."
So she did. Her brother came downstairs and said "Whoa, you look good." High praise. I reminded her that I wore that dress, made for me, at age 17. She's 13.
"You WERE a stick, Mom."
"Um hm. I was. But I wasn't healthy. And you could be healthier, too. Those habits you learn now will help you once, as happened with me, you get a desk job and have to actually work out, which you may hate with the passion of a thousand suns, but can't keep up with your bad habits. And when you have children of your own, and devote years of your life to them at the expense of your own."
We're both still works in progress, but I think I made my point. She took off the dress, went for a bike ride, and chose apple slices and milk for her snack.