I cannot tell you how happy it made me, recently, when the kid, apropos of nothing, commented, idly, "I really like my body."
My heart slammed inside my chest. I looked at her sidelong. "Yeah?" I said, trying to sound calm.
"Yes," she said. "I look good. You know? It's...a nice body."
"It is," I agreed, doing my utter absolute best to sound calm: like I hadn't been working full-out the past eleven years for just this moment.
(We have no scale in our house, no one in our house ever goes on a diet, any discussion of food in our house has to do with recipes and what we like to eat, not with what we weigh or whether we're fat, I never, ever, ever, comment on anyone's weight, ever, we take walks because we like walking, we hike and such for the same reason, we don't keep crap in the house -- bad food I mean -- but that's because we don't eat bad food, it's nasty, not because we want to be skinny, blech, we have better things to do than fuss about who weighs what, when I was a kid growing up that was ALL that ANY girl every talking about, ALL girls were on diets, ALL girls were judged by their weight, ALL girls weighed themselves five and six times a day, and EVERY girl who weighed over the prescribed amount was WORTHLESS, I spent 90% of my adolescent years fretting about my weight, when I could have been -- shit, who knows, studying algebra? Learning Latin? Learning to write deathless prose? Hell if I know, because instead I memorized the # of calories in Oreos and carrots and mashed potatoes and tried like shit to weigh the "perfect" weight for my height, which would have, at long last, made me a real human being, instead of a valueless bit of filth, this was not happening to my child, no way, no how.)
"You've got a fine body," I said.
"Yeah," she said, and went on reading Lemony Snickett.