Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Last week I wanted to take the boy I nanny swimming. After making plans, tracking down his bathing suit and towel and loading up the car, I realized I didn't have my own swimming suit with me. I casually mentioned it to him and said that I would watch him and his friend swim but wouldn't be able to join them.
What transpired has shifted a perspective for me in a big way.
He offered a pair of his own shorts to me. I told him while that was a kind thought, I wouldn't fit in his shorts, so that wouldn't work. "They are one size fits all though," he argued. I explained that he was a 12 year old boy and his waist size was very different than mine. "What do you mean," he asked. I again explained that my waist was larger than his, and so I wouldn't fit into his shorts. He was still confused and continued arguing that I would fit into his shorts because they are 'stretchy,' but I ended the conversation by suggesting we just swing by my apartment on our way to the river so I could change into my own swimsuit.
This doesn't seem like a very important conversation, I am sure, but it was to me. I realized that he doesn't see me for a size or shape. He sees me as the person who takes care of him, loves him and who he loves. I had assumed he was embarrassed of my size and would prefer me to not be in a bathing suit in front of his friends.
Instead he wanted me to enjoy the afternoon as well, and could care less what my body looks like.
I've decided this means I need to show up and be seen. Just as I am, without assumption for the viewer.