No body comments needed.

We were walking along the side street away from the coffee shop. I’m not sure exactly what brought the comment on, maybe I had a muffin. I do love muffins.

“I like your body right now,” she said. “You know… with a bit more weight on you.”

I stopped. The familiar anger and exasperation tried to burst from my chest into my throat in the form of explosive words of rightness and fury. How much of my angst over the years has stemmed from stupid comments just like this?

I took a breath. Felt the heat of the coffee cup in my palm and the gravel under my feet.

She has no idea.

Another breath. This isn’t the time. I haven’t seen her in almost a year.

Slowly. Softly as possible: “Mom. I’ve asked you a few times now to please keep your thoughts and feelings about my body to yourself. I don’t want to hear them.”

She paused.

“Oh hon. You’re so sensitive.”

Sigh.

I wanted to ask her when she became so preoccupied with bodies - hers and other people’s. When did the comparisons start and whose standard were they based on?

How much of it had to do with the comments he’d made about her body and her food through all the years?

I wanted to ask her how long she planned to strive for those standards… even though they’re not together anymore.

Maybe most importantly, I wanted to ask her if she felt she could (or would) ever stop looking at the world through a firmly affixed lens of weight and just be there with me in the moment. No body comments needed.

Hot coffee in hand. Gravel under feet. What’s important right now?

“You’re right Mom. I am sensitive. I love you.”

“I love you too, hon.”

Jen Boyle