At the beach with the boys yesterday morning, I was stopped by an older woman playing with her granddaughter. She asked what everyone does, if I had twins (usually followed by - or are they triplets) but not this time.
I said yes, these two are the twins. She smiled and said let me guess, the twins are 3 and (pointing to my older son) he is 4. I was amazed, she'd guessed right on. When I asked how she could tell she told me she raised a big family. We chatted a few minutes about how she has 2 daughters in their 20's now and I'm pretty sure it was written all over my face - raised a big family - only 2 kids?
Without me saying a word she continued with "And I have 3 sons and a daughter in heaven". Took my breath away. I said oh I'm so sorry to hear that. She said she was OK with it knowing God was taking care of them. It floored me for a moment, I could not imagine that kind of heartbreak.
Then this woman looked at me and told me how wonderful I looked for having my 3 boys so close in age. She proceeded to tell me how she really meant it & that she wanted me to know because in today's society as a woman you spend all this time thinking you need to look a certain way. Then you have kids ... and ... well... yeah, you had kids. All you can think about is what you maybe used to look like instead of embracing the fact that you did have children and you do still look good.
I'm sure it doesn't sound as nice as I blog this, but it was truly sweet. I could not help but wonder what made this woman approach me and tell me these things, totally unsolicited. A few moments later she took her granddaughter up the shore and they were gone. I was left thinking about how I'd recently caught a segment on The Today Show about Caitlin Boyle and www.operationbeautiful.com and how it really is amazing. Sure it had seemed a little hokey when I was watching it but suddenly being told by a complete stranger that you looked good... it was nice.
Ever wonder if all things - or maybe just some of them - happen for a reason? For the last 3 weeks I've been on Herbalife shakes for 2 of my 3 meals a day trying to take off as much weight as I can after feeling like nothing else has worked for me. With my reunion days away and my sister's wedding in just a few months I have felt such pressure. But yesterday, there was this woman who didn't even know me giving me a pep talk out of nowhere.
It makes me want to do a little spreading of the word myself. We could all use a more positive body image. My husband can repeatedly tell me I look good, but I mean he HAS to lie, right? That was in the vows somewhere between love, honor and cherish. That's right. It was love, honor, always tell me i look good even when I've put on some weight, Then cherish. From a stranger though, crazy that we are more apt to accept that. I'm thinking of putting up a few post it notes myself (because somehow I just don't think I could approach a random stranger to tell them something like that).
The boys and I were back at the beach again today and I found myself wondering if she and her granddaughter would be there, because I wanted to tell her what what she said meant to me. It's the smallest things sometimes that mean the most and I think I will try to pay this one forward.