Catching the Vision at the Eye Doctor's Office

I sat down at the receiving desk at the optometrist to fill out my paperwork. The receptionist asked me questions as she plunked away at her keyboard, "current address, phone number" etc.

Then she asked, "so when are you due?"

I resisted the urge to hide my postpartum form behind my cute orange bag, and blinked. Was she referring to something else? The query did seem to come from nowhere - 'who's your emergency contact' to 'when are you due'? - perhaps I misunderstood the question.

"Sorry?" I asked.

She looked up from her monitor and beamed at me. "When are you due?"

I grinned back - no need to make this awkward. "Oh, I already had him. He's a month old." I wondered if they somehow knew I had been expecting - some note on their computer or something, even though I had never been to this doctor, before.

"Oh! How adorable! You know, losing the baby weight was the hardest thing for me, too."

Well - there goes the 'note in my file' theory. I leaned my arm on her desk in a sign of common friendship, and began to dish with her about pregnancy weight gain and stubborn postpartum pounds.

Of course, she was a string bean.

I made a mental note that this would be a good story to share with Bill when I got home. Then I began my all-too-frequent mental war with myself; convincing myself that I wasn't a disgusting frump - that my body had been altered by an amazing event and an amazing little man that I would be snuggling promptly upon my return home.

There was no hiding my, erm, abundant figure. Not this time. The slip of a girl sitting across from me was proof of this. This body - as it is - is mine to inhabit until I change it. This last pregnancy was a bully, constantly beating me up. My physical body bears the scars of the journey I just completed. There is a beauty in that. And there is an even grander beauty in the truth that I am not trapped here in this beaten form. I can change it. And change it I shall!

I've already begun. I can run up the stairs again. I have been known to tackle and tickle a kid or two. I am getting my strength back - and have even lost four pounds after the more significant initial postpartum weight loss.

But even though I will be tracking the pounds as a measure of progress, this time I don't want it to be about the weight. It's just a number on some machine, anyway. It has nothing to do with who I am or what I'm about.

But I do plan on being able to keep up with my kids. To run outside in a game of tag or backyard baseball. To bike to the park. To run and not be weary! To walk and not faint!

Health, people!

I want it. I want it back. And I shall have it, you mark me.

In the meantime, I won't be angry when you ask "when are you due?" Because right now, I do bear the scars. And right now, I'm a physical manifestation of what it means to have the God given gift of the ability to change. To change anything and everything about ourselves to become better, stronger, more complete.

This is one of my very favorite parts about being human.