I made my son cry today. It’s not my finest moment, nor is it one I intentionally did.
You see I have scales in my bathroom, like most of us do, but my scales make me cry… a lot.
They make me moody. They make me angry. They make me argue with my husband about my weight of which, of course, he doesn’t have a problem with.
I’ve used the word fat so many times in my life. Over dinner. During the weekly food shop. While I’m deciding whether to eat the birthday cake or not and whenever I get dressed – morning, noon or night.
I always thought that because my daughter is now a grown-up and I just have the little boys at home that I didn’t need to filter my f-word any more.
I was wrong.
This morning my son, my spirited seven-year-old son, came to me in the bathroom crying. Crying because his older brother had jokingly called him fat after he had told him he’d put on 1kg since he last weighed himself.
My seven-year-old crying coz he thinks he’s fat. He’s not. Not even close. He’s thin or at the very most “average”. The only thing “fat” about him are his ridiculously long, voluptuous lashes.
It fucken broke my heart.
It absolutely tore my insides apart as I looked at him totally devastated about something that didn’t exist nor matter.
It made my life flash before me, and the guilt that transcended was heavy as fuck.
How much have I tarnished my kid’s perception that weight = worth?
How could I have not seen this potentially life-altering mentality I’ve served my kids on a fucked-up-measuring-device platter their entire lives.
How dare I focus on something so trivial, physical and fucked up for the past two decades … and counting.
How does my daughter feel about this or my eldest son, who doesn’t say much at the best of times.
Do they know this weight thing is bullshit?
Do they know the things they’ve heard me say over and over again are not true?
I had to try to set the wheels in motion to make things right. I explained to my littlest boys that fat is just a word. That it is something we all have, and we all need.
I told them that they all had so much more growing to do and their numbers would always be changing.
I explained that the scales are a simple measuring device – that is all.
And I promised them that those numbers will never ever have any say as to what they can do and who they are as people.
I was telling them as much as I was telling myself.
Weight does not equal worth. It never has. It never will.