Sometimes I feel like having a sign that says this, tacked onto the stroller while we’re out and about. This morning we were at the farmer’s market. It was hot. It was busy. Declan was in the stroller and he was wearing shorts. His beautiful, chubby little legs and bare feet were hanging out in all their scrumptious glory. As I pushed the stroller through the crowd, there was a constant hum of “look at those legs!” as people passed us in the other direction. I don’t know what they were thinking. And I really shouldn’t care either.
But there’s this tiny part of me (part of me I’m trying to squash out completely) that worries about what people are thinking. As a kid, growing up, I was so, so self-conscious. I was constantly concerned and filled with worry about what people thought of me. Ugh. Just typing that make me want to grab my younger self by the shoulders and shake some sense into her!
Last year, as the weather warmed up and it was time to dress my (always hot!) baby in cooler clothing, it hit me; what are people going to think of these super chubby legs?! Never mind that they are short. But the chub! All of my past insecurities rushed through me, and I remember making the decision. The decision to not care. I was just not going to give a damn about what people thought.
If I chose to be self-conscious about his legs, I thought to myself, what kind of message am I sending to my son? I never want to do that. And so he was dressed in onesies and rompers and shorts all summer long. And I began to not even think about it anymore.
I think because he is older this summer, and still has those (adorable!) chubby little legs, the comments are more frequent. People are noticing that something’s different. I really don’t even think much about it anymore, as it’s become my new normal. But then there are days like today…with all the comments and buzz of the crowd. It reminds me, and that little self-conscious jerk I’ve been trying to squash rears her ugly head.
My baby is healthy, happy and a joy to be around. That’s all that should really matter. It is all that matters. This is simply my first foray into a future that will include plenty of comments and whispers and questions. How I choose to react to all of it will shape him. And I will do everything to help him be the best that he can be. No sign needed here. Just a proud mama who is claiming her confidence.
Picnicking at the park