Raising a Girl: A Rant

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“Mom, your belly is huge.”

My response was automatic.The stab of hurt reflexive. “That’s not a very nice thing to say.”

She shrugged, making no effort to take it back. And why should she? My belly is huge. Sure, it’s not as big as it could be. And there are many (some very good) reasons why it has gotten as large as it has. But there’s no denying the truth of its largeness.

So I had a decision to make.

I could dispense a lecture about how good manners dictate we don’t point out other people’s size to them. And about how hurtful it can be to say things like “huge” in reference to a person’s body parts (unless we’re talking about boobs or penises, but that’s another story for another day). And then, of course, I’d have to go on to explain why it’s hurtful.

Or I could let it go.

“Well,” I finally said. “That just makes me soft and squishy, which makes me a good pillow. And I know how you like to lay on me.”

She nodded and grinned, and that was the end of that. At least for her. For me? Not so much. I have to weigh every damn word I say.

I’m raising a girl in a hyper-sexualized world, where we’re all too aware of how our prettiness (or lack thereof) affects every goddamn part of our lives starting way too fucking early.

I’m trying to raise her to be proud of who and what she is, in every context. To feel beautiful in her skin, no matter how large, small, spotty or pristine that skin is. And to know that she is perfect just the way she is, no matter what the world says.

That’s what my feminist sisters tell me I need to do. And I’m glad to do it. Would do it, even if no one told me to.

But it’s fucking hard.

Why can’t we admit how fucking hard it is?

About 70 percent of the time, I’m really NOT thrilled with the body I’m currently saddled with. I hate the rolls on my stomach. The flab on my arms. The cellulite (moon craters) on my thighs. The deformed balloon that is my arthritic knee.

Sometimes the sight of it fills me with rage.

And I know, oh I know, that if I worked hard enough, I could be rid of it all. If I stuck to the vegan diet that I know works. If I went to the gym every day and sought the endorphin high that I love so much. If I gave up wine, and chocolate, and pretty much everything that tastes good.

If I did all that I could (maybe) be a size six again. Or hell, a 12. A 12 would be good.

But hey, guess what? I’m not allowed to talk about dieting. I’m not allowed to let my daughter know that I’m unhappy with my weight. Or why. If I mention it at all, I’m supposed to say, “yes, I’m eating better and and exercising hard, but only because I want to be healthier.”

In other words, I’m supposed to fucking lie. And she’s supposed to believe me.

 

Yep. That’ll work. Sure it will.

(surely none of us are that stupid, are we?)

But then, what am I saying to her when I don’t do those things consistently? What am I showing her when I skip the gym (for months at a time) to spend an extra 30 minutes on the couch with her (even if it’s just reading while she watches videos)? What about when I ask the hub to bring home takeout despite having a pantry stocked with beans? Or when I look in my closet, see her watching me, and admit, “there’s nothing here I want to wear today?”

I don’t know. I really don’t.

All I know is that being a girl is really fucking hard.

And raising a healthy one? Well, that’s even harder. Fucktastically hard, as a matter of fact.

And I’d really like it if we could all stop pretending it isn’t.

(and also, I’d like to say fuck one more time. I haven’t sworn this much in a blog post in years. it feels good.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A New Story for a New Year (on a New Platform)

Just a Taste

I like deadlines. Well, no, I don’t like deadlines. I need deadlines. If I have no deadline, then nothing gets done.

This is not a great way to live, but some things aren’t worth fighting.

So, what’s a writer to do when she needs a deadline, but doesn’t yet have a book contract that would place one on her? Invent one, of course.

Or, more to the point, a series of deadlines. By placing her latest book up on Wattpad—and committing to putting new material up every Saturday.

At least, that’s what this writer did.

I released the first chapter of Just a Taste (which is most definitely not what it will be called if Harlequin ever does agree to be publish it), into the wilds of Wattpad this morning.

Next Saturday I’ll post the next one and the next one the week after that…and so on and so forth until it’s actually done.

It’s not perfect. Far from it. I’m still just telling myself the story at this point. But you guys can listen along with me—and hopefully, help me make it better by the time I hand it to my editor.

So what the heck is Wattpad?

Basically, it’s a social media site, where writers post their stuff, for free, and people who like to read stuff, read it. For free. And they comment and converse and have a good time doing it (I think).

You can follow people, and put their stories in your library, and read them from wherever you happen to be, on whatever device you happen to be on. Did I mention it’s free? I do hope you’ll come find me there.

And what’s Just a Taste about?

I’m so glad you asked! Here’s the description I posted.

When YouTube star Lily Sands returns to Dolphin Island for some much needed R&R, she runs smack into her old flame and first love. She has no time for love these days…but a vacation fling? That could be just what the doctor ordered.

Dan McGowan has no business getting involved with Lily again-he still has the scars from the last time he had to let her go. She can’t have his heart again. But his body? That’s another story.

After they’ve had a taste, the real question becomes…can they walk away when their time is done?

It will be a little bit silly, a little spicy, and hopefully, a lot of fun. Won’t you join me?

Check out Just a Taste.

 

Boom. I’m Calling This New Year’s Resolution Done.

makeover

You guys, I don’t know if you know this, but I make websites for a living. Nice websites. Mobile-friendly websites. Websites that work wherever and whenever you see them.

So, needless to say, my website has been driving me crazy for a good long while. While I loved my logo to the moon and back, the rest of it was looking (and acting) a bit outdated.

I knew I needed to fix it, but it was one of those things that kept getting moved to the bottom of the list. There was always something else that needed to come first.

So I made a New Year’s Resolution to give it a little love. Bring it up to speed. And make it work on my phone.

And guess what? I kept my resolution. Last night I gave it the facelift it needed.

There aren’t any fancy bells and whistles. But it’s done. On January 9, no less.

I told you. This year is going to rock.

So, what do you think?

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