A couple weeks ago, I went to my favorite used clothing store hoping to find a tunic-lengthed shirt to go with a skirt I have. I found a simple black, scoop-necked, empire-waisted number and loved how it fit. It wasn’t until I got it home that I looked at the tag and saw if was the brand called Motherhood.
In other words, the shirt that fit my specifications was made for pregnant women.
Did this make me cry? Au contraire! It opened doors, because now I had a heretofore unrealized resource for comfortable clothing that fits my body. Praise be.
This, then, is my Mother’s Day offering. Making babies changes our bodies in a way that keeps on giving. And how could it be otherwise? Portland dads often mark the transition to fatherhood with tattoos of their kids’ names and birth dates. Mothers are marked already.
When I bend to touch my toes, and then tuck in my chin and look back up at my belly button, the folds and puckering of my skin can look almost like a thick-skinned tropical flower, my belly button the center, my thick, stretched belly skin fanning out like petals.
The illusion works better if I squint, but I like thinking of my round, sagging belly as a flower my children left behind to remind me they were there. As if I could ever forget!