Sunday, November 07, 2010

Ok.I Can Do This....




I have told this story to my mother and my husband, so I can tell it here. 

It is humiliating and hard.  

I woke up on Thursday and had a brain storm that my boys needed cooler clothes.  Not because they had bad clothes.  But because I realized that I had only shopped at Old Navy and Target for them.  NOT COOL.  The school they attend is full of very privileged children, who have the very best.  

I was thinking I could save them some teasing by giving them the best in clothing that money could buy.  (James had come home and said that he was teased because he wore skinny jeans.)  

They would fit in and no one would be able to call them out on their clothing choices.  

I called friends who kept up on that sort of thing.  They told me the most popular clothing brands were "Hurley" and "7 for all Mankind" and "True Religion" and "Rock and Republic" and "Diesel."  I, of course, have never heard of any of these brands.  

If I find a shirt I like, I buy it in every color and I am happy and done.  

So, I went to Macy's and met with a wonderful woman named Vivienne.  And she helped me with buying a whole new wardrobe for ME.  I know I was looking for the kids   But, it was fun and giddy and exhilarating.  I made myself walk outside of my comfort zone.  And she picked out this and that and I said ok.  She waited in the dressing room for me and approved every outfit.  And I loved almost every one.  And we laughed at the ones that did not work and we laughed at the ones that were perfect.  And she was fabulous and fun and encouraging.  And I felt normal for the first time in a long time.  And Vivi made me feel normal and right and excepted.  She said that I made her laugh so much.  And she made me laugh so much.  She did not judge me when I said that a 24 would not fit me.  She just kept looking until she found a 26. 

And she cheered me and praised me when the 24 fit.  

And she accepted me for who I am.  Jamie.  

Not Fat Jamie.  Just Jamie.  

Me. 

Who I am on the inside.  Vivi made me feel real and ok and normal for the first time in a long time.  

The last thing I said to her was, "I love ya Vivi" and I do.  

She was there for me when she did not know that, that was what I needed most.  She was perfect.

That afternoon, I took James to the store with me to pick up jeans and shoes for David.  We went to the big boy clothes and I was looking around for clothes for David.  There was a Mom there from our school and her two boys.  

James being the social guy that he is, said very proudly, " That is my Mom".  

And the youngest boy said, " YOUR MOM IS FAT". 

Poor James said, "No She is Not!"

And then, the Mom steered them away to another area.  

James looked at me panicked struck and said "You are Not fat Mom!!"

"I Love You".


I was so worried about their clothing.   


I never recognized that  "I " was their biggest liability.  


It is "I " that they will be judged about and called out after.  

The Fat Mom.  

The Mom that stands out. 

I cried all the way home.  I tried to hide it from James, but he knew.  I cried in the car all the way home.  When we got home, I called a friend.  The boys knew there was something more.  

David came to me and said," The more people that make fun of you, the more you learn to deal with them.  

When people make fun of me I say, " I don't understand what you mean.  Could you please explain it to me?"   That stops them in their tracks he said.

I must be doing something right.  David gave me better advice than any adult could.  I must be teaching them the right things.  Those silly boys.  I love them so.


This is the best I can do to recover the lost comments I received for the first try at this post.  Kim, Anji, Joanna and Karin please know that I appreciate you so very much!!!!!  Love, Jamie

30 comments:

Joanna said...

Dear dear Jamie, that is such a touching story and every word of it told from the heart. You are such a lovely mum to your boys, who are so lucky to have you. I'm so sad that others appear to define you by your weight, so much so that you are also starting to do the same (?). You are Jamie, not Size 24 Person. Jamie. Jamie, who is talented, funny, sensitive, loving and endearingly honest. Oh that there were many many more Jamie's in the world.

Take care, my friend.

xxx

Heavens2Betsy said...

Your post made me go 'ouch' at the pain of the story and wow at the wisdom of children! It made me recall my niece as a child asking very loudly on a crowded train 'Aunty Penny, why do you have two chins?! I wish I'd felt blase about it, but I too, felt humiliated ... and in public. We are all marvels, us mothers who raise children who know how to care for others feelings. Penny x

José said...

Just read your storing with tears in my eyes. I recognize it. Your boy is very wise. And so are you. I once told my daughter she could say on a comment like that: and your father is bold. So what?
After 15 fat years I lost a big amount of weight. That could only happen after I found peace with other issues in my life and with a lot of help of professionals and other big women. Now I eat everything but not so much and I walk and swim. It feels great. In time this may happen to you as well. Untill then: try to love yourself, and enjoy your family, friends and the Vivi's of this world. Love José

sangeeta said...

Hey Jamie...I was confused when i saw the last post without a content . Now i am so glad your little David came up with such a great advice..

You can anything you want !!!
Hugs!!!

Niki said...

You are PERFECT in EVERY way!! My comment to you is don't worry about your size. Just be healthy!!

Theresa said...

Hang on to the time spent with Vivi and to the fact that your boys DO NOT think of you as a liability. You are their beautiful mother who they are so proud of and love with all of their hearts. Step out in your new outfits and feel beautiful because that is what you are.
There will always be people in this world, whether we are old or young that will want to put us down for one reason or another, defy them and raise yourself up to a place where their words cannot touch you. Your son has already put you on a pedestal that those people cannot reach... his love for you will keep you there, please give that love to yourself.
I want to personally thank you for the incredible talent you share here with those of us who admire your work, you are an true artist who inspires me to delve deeper into my artistic soul. Theresa xoxo

Kim Mailhot said...

Baby, I am a size 22 and I have had those kind of comments too. I know they go through to the very core of who we think we are and they will echo for a long time. I am so sorry you were hurt like that. The only thing I can think to say is that "We are more than just our bodies." I try and repeat that over and over again and look at where I do good, where I love so well...It doesn't take the hurt away completely but it is true. We are more than our bodies....

You are doing something very right to have boys who want to love you up so well! Make sure you let 'em !
Big Loving hugs on your wounded parts, my Friend.

Anji Johnston said...

What a post Jamie - you are my hero. Now go forth and conquer dear friend. Stepping out of your comfort zone was the best thing you could have done. You made a wonderful friend in Vivi who didn't judge you, just wanted to see you looking the best you could be - inside and out. Your boys are the best - take strength from knowing how much they love you. That love thing rocks doesn't it?! I have had my fair share of ridicule in my time - too thin, too short, too British (!), too nice, too nasty, and on and on and as much as it hurt for a while I now know to turn it around and think 'poor things, they probably have issues if they are wasting their time on judging me' - and I move on. I am who I am and you are who you are and if people want you to be a part of their lives then they must be accepting of everything about you. And if they choose not to well, that's their lose. So, on this beautiful Sunday morning, put on your new clothes (not all at once!), dance a happy dance, and start living with conviction. You are loved more that you will ever really know, so own it girl!!

Nancy said...

What a courageous soul you have, to share this! Thank you for doing so! And thank you for raising children who share your courage, insight, intelligence & honesty. I absolutely love David's comeback to unthinking people!
I love your experience at Macy's! Now, do we get to see your new wardrobe?

peggy gatto said...

I just hugged you!!!!

Gail said...

Oh Jamie,
While very distressing to hear such a hurtful comment, really the person I feel most sorry for in this story is the Mom of the boy who made it...granted I don't know his age, but from very early on I've taught my dd not to make hurtful comments to others....children learn from their parents, let's not forget that.
She's not raising a caring child, while you my dear, clearly are! Kudos to you, and please know that our children really don't judge us on our looks but on our actions.

Terri Kahrs said...

What a wonderful story of love, Jamie! Your son has the wisdom of ages. I've been a size 6 and a size 26. My soul and spirit haven't changed, and I've been blessed with a family who loves me no matter what I weigh. You've definitely raised a son with a beautiful soul - give yourself (and him) a BIG, warm, loving hug. Blessings & Love, Terri xoxo

Dorthe said...

Oh dear Jamie,
please only know, you are a wonderfull, and so sweet person, a mother and woman with a big heart, and big understanding for others.--Everything else, is only outside things, that do not matter-at all.
Hugs, Dorthe

prutsels said...

Not only can you do it, it seems to me you already did!
You are brave and full of heart, and your son is a treasure.

Tami Roth said...

I am so sorry you had to go through that, Jamie, I can't believe that the mother didn't make her son apologize to you right then and there! I loved hearing about your fun shopping day and to hear that you were laughing and having a good 'ole time-that is awesome!!! You never know who you will meet and relate with - so neat.

Your 2 boys sound smart and sweet and I learn from my 2 kids too. What a sweet story!

Don't let anyone get you down and keep your funny and loving Jamie to shine through-love you sweetie and big hugs,
Tami

Laurie said...

I know how much the fat comments hurt. Your boys are wonderful, of course they are! What a sweet mom you are to think ahead, to make things better for them, so they fit in. You are NOT a liability!! You are their wonderful mother and their hearts are full of love for you, and you'll lose the weight in time and in the meantime you'll look awesome in size 26 and that's that!

The Feathered Nest said...

Oh Jamie....I absolutely love you!!! And your boys are both so smart. I've been heavy for so long ~ I've been home raising our boys and can't EVEN believe I just went to see Lisa this past weekend!! Totally, totally out of my comfort zone sweetie!!! I just love that the sales lady was so precious to you during your shopping trip ~ you are such an angel girl, sending you big ol' GA hugs, Dawn

cindy said...

I just can't say it any better than Gail did, she hit the nail on the head! As for you, my darlin, when I see you, I see the most gorgeous eyes, that always have a wonderful sparkle in them (and a little bit of mischeviousness), the BEST smile, that lights the place up and merely hints at the humor that it holds, and one of the sweetest persons that I know. You cannot allow yourself to be identified with one random, stupid comment from a child that has been raised by an ignorant parent.

Love ya gurl!

-c

Faye said...

What a wonderful mother you must be to have raised your children to be so wise! I have heard all my life the adage: beauty is skin deep. To me that means that the true beauty of a person is inside, not outside. It's how one treats other people. I can tell from your posts that you are such a thoughtful, kind, endearing person. Love and hugs from the east coast.

kay said...

Oh Jamie, this reminds me of when I was 37 years old and a neighbor's little boy was holding my hand and said to me-"You have wrinkled up old Grandma skin." EEK! I decided to laugh instead of cry! Now that I'm 60-I really do have wrinkled up old Grandma skin-but MOST of the wrinkles are from smiling! People who say unkind things are lost in the dark and deserve our pity.

just me jan said...

Jamie...Whew! I've met you "in passing" just twice...both times at Paper Cowgirl events...I have to say your weight never even registered on my radar because your face is soooo magnetic! Don't bother about what others mumble or shout...heck, I was once asked "when is your child due?" at a cocktail party...my response? "Oh honey...that's sweet...but I'm not pregnant...I'm just fat!!!" And with that I walked away howling. I have to say it was one of the best laughs I'd had all year. The woman was mortified...I think...I didn't turn around...some days ya just gotta KNOW you're better than others!!! ROFLOL
just me...lovin' that sparkle in your eyes...jan

Sharon said...

My dear Jamie,
Your story brought tears to my eyes. YOu have 2 exceptional children and much of that credit belongs to YOU.
xoxo
Sharon

Sandra at 7th St. Studio said...

I am going to comment without reading anyone else's comments...so forgive me if I repeat anyone else's thoughts here. The worst thing I think, is the the mother of that child....she has not taught her child to have a filter, and she did not stop him in his tracks...shame on her and shame on that little boy. The joy if this world is that God made us in all shapes and sizes ( I am living proof..not only big, but super tall) he created us and made us all beautiful. You are a wonderful mom, an artist, an incredible woman...your boys are blessed to have you as their mom. We are all blessed by you!!! I can honestly say that my day with you at the PC event was so fun, I never once thought about what size you wore...sister we could share clothes! I saw you...the you that was so sweet, so funny, so talented. When I found out you were going to be beside me, I was so happy! So, shame on that little boy and his mom, they will never see what we see...because they are negative, judge and uh hmmmm, are they perfect. Lord knows I am not, not is any person I know! Do not let this get under your skin, head up, chin out, just keep on being the FABULOUS person God made you to be!!!!

jan said...

Thank you for being courageous. Courageous enough to share that brutally honest story. I too am a Mom of two. My daughter who is now almost 16 inspects everything I wear when I leave the house. If I am to be seen w/ her then she really inspects me and won't be seen w/ me unless I am wearing what she deems appropriate. It's all so bizarre to me. Apparently our kids get judged by what we Moms look like. And I guess it's very true w/ the girls. You are not alone friend. Much Love, ~ Jan

Elizabeth Golden said...

Oh dear friend how my heart ached when I read this, as yours must have ached to write it. I love you for you dear friend, the way you mama lion those boys, and they man up for you. Amazing.
The older I get the more I realize I am who I am, I look the way I look, I can change some of the outside stuff, but most important is the inside. I do not have a "fix" for any of life, I do know that the ones we love make life worth while. So love you, your boys do and all of us here do.

Dio said...

I hope that the mother was mortified by what her son said, but if so, I feel sorry for her that she had to be - it can't be a good feeling when your child says something that shows such a lack in your own parenting skill.

You, on the other hand, were uplifted by your own children and what you have taught them, and I hope it was a huge comfort to be shown that society is a better place for how you are raising them.

Maija said...

I am so sorry you were hurt!
How wonderful that your son sees you as perfect and normal!!

andrea said...

hello fellow papercowgirl. when i met you, i never saw fat jamie. you have a smile and warmth about you that is truly genuine. i think you are talented and a good soul. i have only seen you at papercowgirl twice--i don't know you. but i SEE someone with a beautiful heart and pretty face and a warm smile and talent. kids are cruel--bad mothering. kids are also amazing and they can touch your soul--good mothering (like jamie). when i have heard mean things i think to myself "those mean comments will have to answered for by God one day" until next papercowgirl...
you are a beautiful woman.
(the daughter of the mother daughter duo at pc)

VBR said...

Well! Fat you may be (and by the way, I loathe that word - it is tossed around like it is nothing, when in fact is is meant to hurt)anyway, you may be a size 24 but guess what? You have a boy there who is wise, gentle and kind. In this day and age to have children who carry these traits within their hearts - obviously in that size 24 heart of yours there must be a great deal of love and wonderful-ness that you are passing on to your boys!

QueenBe said...

What a sweet story... you have taught your boys well, and it is so sweet that they picked up on your hurt. It is so apparent they love you for you and that is so much more important than a "perfect" body.

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