Friday, July 14, 2017

Driving Miss Ophelia

It’s been almost 30 years since there’s been a child strapped into the backseat of my car. This morning, as I began my weekend of babysitting our nearly 11-month old granddaughter, I buckled her into her car seat then drove her to daycare. As I pulled out onto the main highway, I told her she was Precious Cargo, and I was being extra-careful as I drove. Then I started singing to her and heard a little chatterbox responding from behind me. I couldn’t help but smile.

I’ve been anticipating this weekend for a month or more!!! When my daughter called to ask if I would be free at this time to babysit, I jumped at the chance! I’m turning 64 this weekend and I can’t imagine a better way to spend my birthday than with little Miss Ophelia!

This is Ophelia’s first time to be away from Momma and Pops over an extended time…ever…so routine is important and she went to her little school for the day. I have to keep in mind that this is her momma’s first time away from the little one for a weekend, too, so have been saying some extra prayers for both my girls!

This morning, I drove into the school parking lot, walked into this special place and delivered Miss Ophelia to her teacher. I wish everyone could’ve seen the look on her face when she saw Miss Lacey!!! She lit up and went straight to her! That gave me a good feeling!

Tomorrow, we’ll be going to her weekly swim lesson. I’m really choosey about who sees me in a bathing suit, so I’m glad my granddaughter won’t remember what I look like in one!!! If she were older, she’d probably ask me if we were taking a long trip since I have what looks like roadmaps all over my legs!

The more I think about it, the more I realize, though, that I need to exude a confidence in this body of mine when I’m around Ophelia. I’ve spent too many years hating the way I look and making snide remarks about my size. I’m extremely thankful that my daughter has a healthy self-image despite the fact that her mother has felt so inadequate for far too long. I am what I am. Weight is something I’ve struggled with so long now, that it’s like this weird friend who never goes home. You don’t really enjoy hanging around with her all that much but at least she’s quiet and doesn’t need much attention (except for the occasional Peanut Butter Milkshake from Dairy Queen).

Once, when I was joking about my big-sized body to my mom, Hannah spoke up and said, “Mother…self-deprecating humor is unbecoming to you.” (Keep in mind that my daughter was 16 at the time and knew absolutely everything there is to know about anything.)
To that, my mom said, “self-defecating humor? What kind of humor is that?!?”

Point taken.

So tomorrow morning, this grandma will don her bathing suit, proudly carry her granddaughter into the pool area at the gym, and not think a thing about how fat I am! I’m in shape! Round is a shape! (Okay. I couldn’t resist that one!) I need to love all of myself. If I don’t, then what message am I sending to my precious Ophelia?

Besides, nobody will be looking at me in a bathing suit…because that little girl I’ll be carrying is so doggone cute that all eyes will be on her!

Always remember this…
If you have a pulse, you have a purpose. Make your life count!