Thursday, December 23, 2010

To The Mothers

Today I went roller skating with my daughter, who is five. It isn't the first time we've done this; I wrote about skating with her at her school's skate party earlier this year and how freeing and fun it was. It was, I think, the third time I have skated in my adult life (all three times have been in the last 3 months).

As I was skating around the rink with my little one, holding her hand, laughing, watching the silly disco lights together, I was filled with the kind of joy that is simply indescribable. The broad smile on her face, the twinkle in her eyes, the music, the laughter of the other children was all-consuming as we moved around the slick floor without a care. It was the happiest moment I've had all month.

I used to not even be able to take a short walk with her. I used to sit on the bench at the park or in my yard and watch her play. I used to hate pushing her on the swings because it meant standing for more than 30 seconds, and my legs hurt. I used to bring my kids to skate parties and either sit and watch or drop them off and go shopping. I used to sit on the couch and watch my daughter play with her dollhouse on the floor. I used to hobble after her when she ran kicking her soccer ball... not because I was trying to play with her, but because I was afraid she'd run out in the road.

I used to watch. Now I participate.

Mothers, please, please hear me on this one. I have been the morbidly obese mother, always trying to lose weight but never quite succeeding, watching her children play and enjoy life as I sat on the sidelines. Ten years I watched my kids grow up before me. I thought that was the fullness of my joy, because watching your child be happy IS a most wonderful, joyful, satisfying thing. But playing with them on the slides, swinging and laughing together on the swings, playing dolls with them on the floor, kicking the ball together in the yard, and even roller skating together is ten times better than watching. If you are able... if there is a chance you are capable... (because I know some are not... some mothers have no choice but to watch from the sidelines in a wheelchair or with whatever unfixable malady they have, and in fact, someday my own bad knees may prevent me once again from doing some of these things)... if there is ANY way you CAN... take it! Grab it... run with it! Get the weight off and step into your child's life. I was a good mother before. I loved them before. But now, I am able to EXPERIENCE IT WITH THEM, not just observe. And just one day of skating with my daughter makes all 3+ years of fighting off those pounds worth it. It is worth every struggle, every battle. Nothing tastes as good as playing with your child feels.

If you can... do it! Don't wait. They grow up oh-so-quickly, and you never get those years back. Now is the time. They will love you regardless, but do it for you. Do it before it's too late.

16 comments:

violinista said...

Really happy for you!! I can't wait until I have kids to so I can experience all those things with them, too.

Diandra said...

This is great, and I am pondering sending it to my sister and forcing her to read it... (her daughter is 1 year old, and my sister weighs something around 250lbs).

Have a magic holiday!

Gertie said...

what a great post! I was thinking about this the other day, as my 2 year old and I were dancing to Christmas music. I had the most fun.. but wish I could have done it longer with her. Next year we will be doing it for a very long time.. :)

R. Reed said...

Happy, happy, happy for you AND your daughter. What a great experience and the realization is powerful isn't it? I used to skate, a LOT, but at this point I don't know if I could. The effect that the fat has on my body throughs my balance all off, the sad thing is I used to compete in ice skating when I was very young and roller skated my way through junior and high school. It makes me sad to think of that time, but it also gives me something to aspire to again. Thanks for that :)

Chubby McGee said...

You're so very lucky. Thank you for sharing this with me. This is why I'm trying to lose weight...I'm tired of missing out on doing stuff with my kids. It's so unfair to all of us. :(

Thank you for posting this. It made me tear up, but it gave me great hope.

You're a wonderful mom! WONDERFUL.

Anonymous said...

And now for a slightly different perspective...

Everything you said so beautifully here, Lyn, applies to grandmothers too!

That wonderful day perhaps seems so very far off for many of us, yet for some (me! Oh my!) it can actually arrive much sooner than expected!

Over one hundred pounds lighter, my fitter and more energetic body arrived just in time to care for my 1st grandchild. :) I feel younger than I did 15 years ago!

Each time I hold this sweet baby in my arms, I give silent thanks for the ease with which I can carry her around, rock her, stand up from a sitting position on the floor while cradling her, lean over her crib...and so forth, all without suffering from an aching back and without needing to medicate against throbbing hips or knees. (So, I'm more clear-headed too! LOL.)

It won't be long before she is crawling, then toddling, and I will be there to support her and chase after her, running and giggling together. I knew I was giving myself a very special gift when I made the commitment to become fitter and stronger, but I never dreamed I would be giving a gift to a grandchild, too, with this transformation.

Bless you, Lyn, and have a beautiful holiday season with your family!

Robin

Anonymous said...

I definitely agree! Great post Lyn. My weight hasn't stopped me from doing many things with my kids. Yet. But i felt like it was headed that way. I'm halfway there and feeling great. I promise myself to never ever go back no matter how hard it is or how long it takes. I want to be an active able bodied grandmother as well!! Merry Christmas!!! And thank you for your blog. You've been a great help when I needed that little push.

Sarah Williams said...

I've been a follower of your blog for awhile but haven't commented. I too am on a weight loss journey. I had gastric bypass in June. A big reason was for my son, after he was born in April 2009 I would look at him and cry saying to myself I didn't want to be the fat mom on the bench, I wanted to be the mom chasing him. Congrats on your weight loss and your journey and I know that was a magical feeling seeing your daughters face. Now that I have lost some of my weight to chase my son around and see that smile in his face lights up my world!

spunkysuzi said...

I totally agree, roll up your sleeves and jump in with the kids!!
They will always remember these memories :)

mk said...

this made my cry! i'm a first-time mother to an almost 11-month boy, and i've lost the weight i have largely because i want to be a good example to him. thank you for this. i will NEVER go back.

LHA said...

Great post today! I am quite a bit older than you and my children are either grown or "almost" grown and I have been fighting obesity my whole life. I feel lucky that I did not have arthritis or other mobility problems in spite of my weight when they were little, although I certainly wasn't as atheletic or active as I would have liked. Now, with age though, my mobility is decreasing and I am concerned. As others have stated, I would like to be prepared to be an active grandmother someday and I also want to be able to do things with my adult children which require walking ability, stamina and good health. Although you don't realize it when your children are small, having adult offspring can also be a lot of fun..just in a different way.

So, mothers, take Lyn's advice and do something to get in the best health you can! I know I do have regrets about some things, such as always feeling bad that my wonderful children didn't have that attractive, physically fit dynamo of a mom that I always aspired to be! I say it is never too late to begin to live a better life.

"Go confindently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imgagined" Henry David Thoreau

Twiggy said...

I had a very similar experience the other day. You are so right. My kids were invited to an ice skating party and I intended to sit and watch even though I used to be a competitive figure skater. I thought I couldn't do it. I don't know what came over me, but I laced up some skates and went out there with my kids and it was so much fun! Congrats on your NSV!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, I needed that.

Anne H said...

Beautiful and well written!

Lorie said...

you are speaking to my heart here! Playing with my boys and not watching them play is one of the pillars that is keeping me going. Thanks for putting it in words from the other side.

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