I went jeans shopping today.
Can you think of anything worse? Maybe dental surgery. Dental surgery is worse than jeans shopping. Unless there is full anesthesia, then dental surgery just becomes a long nap with consequences and a long nap with consequences is not worse than jeans shopping.
I had been putting it off for nine whole months. I was waiting for that magical time when I'd be that magical number and fit into those magical sized pair of jeans that make me look like Beyoncé. But like many well intentioned people with an affinity for Mexican food, this did not happen. And even if I had lost the weight, jeans shopping would still not be fun. I have been very thin and very big, and no matter what--there is something truly terrifying about pouring yourself into denim under bad lighting.
I went anyway. Leggings and maternity capris can only last so long, and with winter coming, I was starting to worry that I might get, you know, cold.
Our local Old Navy is 20 minutes away, and on the way I rallied my inner strength by promising myself two important things:
1. To not try on jeans I know will not fit.
2. To remember the worst thing that could happen is that I leave crying and buy jeggings on Amazon.
I also listened to a lot of Taylor Swift.
When I got there, I repeated my mantras, took two generous sizes of each style jean, and confidently tried them on while my 9-month-old daughter chewed on hangers and tried to break my iPhone.
Here's the good news: I walked away with one pair of long, dark, moderately flattering jeans and zero emotional breakdowns. They are not a size I ever thought I'd be. They are not a style currently featured in In Touch Magazine. But they are comfortable and forgiving and will keep me warm in the winter.
This afternoon, my 3-year-old son asked if he could rest on my "warm, soft" belly while he watched Curious George. How could I say no? There are some really wonderful things about being thin, but there is a certain joy in providing your kids a soft place to land.
Recognizing we don't need to be a certain size to be happy is not a rare or once-in-a-lifetime realization. Instead, it's a truth we have to repeat over and over to ourselves as our bodies morph with time, babies or the occasional sleeve of Oreos.
May we buy jeans with confidence. With gratitude. With the purpose of staying warm and dancing with our loved ones on our kitchen floors.
We are so lucky.