We hit the Detroit Zoo today. As we walked out of the parking garage, John lifted my shirt to kiss my tummy. Ainsley followed suit.
"No, no," I told them. "Mama's tummy doesn't see the light of day in a public setting for Very Good Reasons."
Call it a corporal work of mercy -- feeding the hungry, burying the dead, keeping those stretch marks under wraps.
Over at Darwin Catholic, Mrs. Darwin has this to say about beauty in general and gestational beauty in particular. She writes:
Childbearing permanently alters the body for better and for worse, and it's okay to mourn those changes because they can be traumatic. Women don't have to view our stretch marks as "tiger stripes" or battle scars or precious badges of honor; they can simply be stretch marks. Being pushed to acknowledge the marks and scars of childbearing as beautiful when our aesthetic sense rebels against such a designation is simply a form of cultural conditioning.An interesting piece.
As for me, I am thrilled I just penned approximately eight sentences and a fragment. This time last year I wrote Splinched, a post that captured the sad, sad demise of key mental faculties in the face of intense familial togetherness. I wrote back then:
Even when it all goes well, summer has a certain intensity. A relaxed intensity in that we typically don't have deadlines and school bells and homework. But we're all together almost all of the time, and that alone can be intense.
In this world, there are introverts and there are extroverts; I would have to call myself a hybrid. I do not do well when I'm alone day after day. Isolation and cloudy weather are a particularly difficult combination for me.
But the opposite is also true.
When I'm never alone -- when I have to post rules detailing the circumstances in which my offspring can knock on the bathroom door -- when someone is nearly always right there needing or wanting something -- eventually, I splinch. Honestly, I don't think I've been alone of two hours since May.
When I splinch, I'm fairly sure the part I leave behind is my cerebral cortex.
I can't think.
Well, it's deja vu all over again.
But I've now written more sentences than I care to count (even if I did start with the zoo, move on to stretch marks, and end up discussing my splinched state of mind). There's progress there somewhere.