Waleed: Mama? Whatcha doing?
Me: Trying to figure out what to wear sweetie.
Waleed: sorting through my hangers and pulling out my beloved blue jeans. This mama! Wear this!
Me: I wish. Let’s look at something else.
Waleed: I like it. Wear it mama.
Me: I wish I could but its still tight.
Waleed: Why tight? Wear this mama. Wear it!
Me: It won’t fit me. If something doesn’t fit, you can’t wear it.
Waleed: Why no fit?
Me: Sigh, looking longingly at the jeans, and contemplating the weight that is, for whatever reason, coming off so very painfully slowly and making getting dressed a complicated affair. They don’t fit because mama is fat.
Waleed: Mama fat?
Me: Lauging Oh really? No?
Waleed: Mama not fat. Reaching up, and patting my hand. Mama cutie.
I sometimes forget how quickly he’s becoming his own person and how the things I say, are things he understands. In that moment I was struck by both his knowledge of exactly what I was saying, and by his simple compassion– for seeing me through the eyes of love. This whole weight loss thing? It’s not easy. Despite strict calorie control, weight loss postpartum is tough going. Nursing as the calorie burning savior is, in my case, a decided urban legend. And as comfy as yoga pants are, wearing yoga pants because your favorite jeans don’t fit? It gets old. Slowly but surely, I’ll get there, I know I will, I’ve done it before, I’ll do it again, but in the meantime, I am reminded in this conversation of the importance of self-compassion, of watching what I say to a toddler quickly growing into a boy who understands more than I know, and for whom my words are an integral part of shaping his worldview. In that moment I was also struck by the realization that as much as I’m teaching him about the world– he is teaching me so much more.