At 3 years of age, he stands tall at 36 inches. A tiny toddler to me. As his mother, all I want is to soak in as much as I can of his little feet, small hands, soft skin, and adorable high-pitched voice. But, all he wants is to “get big.”
Like any ordinary morning, my 3-year-old son came sprinting into my bathroom so proud that he got himself dressed without any help. (Mind you, his shorts were on backwards, and his shirt was inside-out.) As I was brushing my teeth and analyzing each and every black pore on my face, I heard him shout, “Mommy, I got bigger! I got bigger!”
I looked down, and there he stood on my bathroom scale. For a child who didn’t know how to count past ten, he sure learned quickly which numbers were ‘bigger’ than others.
I stared at him, and thought to myself, “If only…”
I couldn’t help but envy his innocence and excitement. I get it. I, too, once yearned for getting ‘bigger.’ But, there I was, thinking to myself that just minutes before, I had stepped on that dreadful scale. My weight went up from the last time I weighed myself. However, my reaction was far different from that of my 3-year-old.
I smiled at him, and reassured him that he is, indeed, growing taller and stronger. For a child who failed to thrive as an infant, developed a feeding disorder, and navigates his multiple food allergies every single day, ‘getting bigger’ is a blessing. He reminded me in that moment that life isn’t only about being skinny. There are many people who are desperately trying to gain weight to attain health, just like he did. So, instead of focusing on what my body looks like in a bathing suit or what the number is on the scale, I am going to try to see it as he does: HEALTH. Ultimately, without my health, I have nothing.