Today was a good day. It was busy, but extremely productive and I got to spend most of it with my youngest daughter, Kennadee. “Keekee” and I began our day at her doctor’s office for her annual sport’s physical. Softball conditioning begins next week, and so it was imperative that this task be completed prior to returning to school on Monday.
Keekee does not like the doctor. In fact, it would not be an understatement to say that it is her least favorite destination. And, since we moved, this was her first visit to a new doctor, in a new medical office, in a new city. She was nervous. And since it is the tail end of the holiday season, she was less than pleased when the nurse announced her weight and her five pound weight gain. She was embarrassed. She was even more uncomfortable when the nurse told her she had to put on a gown, without her outer clothing. Thank goodness she was able to leave on her sports bra and undies!
I watched my daughter become more and more uncomfortable as she waited for the doctor to enter the room. I tried to reassure her that everything would be okay and that she had nothing to be embarrassed about. It was clear that Kennadee was uncomfortable in her own skin and my heart was breaking for her. I was her and she was me at that age. I weighed more than most fourteen year olds and I wanted to be anyone else but me at her age.
A flood of painful memories clouded my brain and I tried hard not to cry. It’s funny how certain places can evoke memories and suddenly I was reliving one of two doctor visits that my dad attended with me. What started as a water fight on a hot summer’s day, ended up with a trip to the emergency room and seventeen stitches in my elbow and tendons. The stitches weren’t the worst part of that visit. The most excruciating event of that day was when the ER nurse announced my weight out loud and my dad heard. Oh my gosh, I wanted to die! I remember being absolutely mortified and even more so when he launched into his speech that went something like this, “Damn, Kristen. You have such as pretty face. You would be so pretty if you just lost some of that poundage.” Is “poundage” even a word? I should google that.
It wasn’t the first time I had heard that “pep talk” and it certainly wouldn’t be the last. I can say with absolute certainty that none of his comments ever motivated me to lose weight. In fact, most of the time, they did the opposite. And on that particular day, I couldn’t wait to get home so that I could “eat my feelings.” And I did just that to the tune of two boxes of macaroni and cheese and half a gallon of cookies n’ cream ice cream. That would show him not to mess with me again. At least that’s what I told myself. And something else I told myself was that I would NEVER “encourage” my children the way my dad “encouraged” me. Never. Ever.
Flashforward to present day. During that 10-minute wait for the doctor, Kennadee and I discussed how we had both fallen off the healthy eating wagon and how we would begin getting healthy with our eating and exercise that very afternoon. Today, not tomorrow, but today. By the time the doctor walked into that room, everything had shifted. She wasn’t happy that she was nearly naked under her gown, I mean, who enjoys that? But she was comfortable with the fact that we had both committed to getting healthy and being who God created us to be. What was even better was that my girl and I would do this together.
I would be remiss if I failed to mention that Keekee is an absolute baller when it comes to softball. She has the heart of a champion and up until last season, played baseball because she hates the “drama” involved in softball. She’s a lefty and she pitches, plays first base and has an amazing bat. The girl is good and I don’t want to brag and toot her horn, but “beep beep!” This momma is proud of her girl and I took the opportunity in the doctor’s office to remind her of that.
After her appointment, instead of going through a fast-food drive-thru, we headed up the hill to our house, where we made turkey sandwiches on wheat bread. We sat at the dining room table and continued to laugh and talk about life and how excited we both were for her first season of high school softball.
Yes. Today was a great day. My daughter and I are beautiful and my hope is that neither one of us will let the numbers on a scale say otherwise. As parents, we should remember that our words have power and once spoken, cannot be taken back. Today, my positive words had power. I hope that she never forgets today; I know I won’t. My cup runneth over.