We drove to Portland last weekend, to see Lisl, M’s grandmother. She’s nearing 91 and is truly fabulous. The kids adore her, and for some reason I’ll never figure out, behave so beautifully in her house that I barely recognize them as my own. She can also get away with saying whatever she wants, partly because she’s almost 91, and partly because she’s so demure and delightful.
The kids are not demure, but they can be delightful, and they certainly get away by speaking their minds because humans are not born equipped with filters. Which is why we have to suffer comments such as: “I thought boobs were supposed to be high and round…” and “I like watching the light reflect off the top of Daddy’s head.”
On the way home from Portland we detoured to Mt. St. Helen’s. We’ve tried to go before, but it was too cloudy to see much. This time was beautiful. We could see for miles, and hiking always makes everyone happy, and usually leads to interesting conversations. While we were stomping around the hummocks (giant rocks that had been spewed by the volcanic eruption), Bennett asked me how much I weigh. I told him. He then asked how much I weighed when Sidney was born. I told him that. He then told me that I should go on one of those weight loss commercials and show everyone what I looked like before and after. I can think of few things worse. I know he was actually trying to pay me a compliment, but it seems to me that if we’re going to have to suffer the slings and arrows of our kids’ veracity, we should actually get harder and firmer with age. It only seems fair.
Someone who rarely pipes up about matters of the body: M. I have to beg him to tell me if something makes me look fat, and when he does it he leaves the room and shouts it out, so he doesn’t have to do it face to face. (Some people will do anything to dodge conflict.) But he too could not resist chiming in on the hike:
M: What are you wearing? Running pants?
Me: Yes. Running pants. Why?
M: You should save them for running. I mean, I wouldn’t really wear them out if I were you.
Me: Doesn’t hiking count as running? (At this point he is hiking behind me and I turn around to face him so he no longer has to suffer at the sight of my backside in the pants.)
M: Forget I said anything.
Me: No, be honest. What’s wrong with them?
M: I think they’re just a funny shape. And (here’s the kicker), it doesn’t help that they’re the color of an elephant.
Wait, is somebody an elephant in this scenario?
Yes. Me. I am the elephant. I am the elephant who has almost lost all of my baby weight, for the fifth time, and has just turned a year older.
Happy birthday to me.