“I like your belly, mama.”
“I like your belly, too.”
These words come out of my daughter’s mouth almost every time I change my shirt or take a shower, and yet they still sound foreign to me. There is something so sweet and honest about the unprovoked innocence of my daughter’s words that makes me stop and relish the moment each time. When I look into her bright, blue eyes, i can almost feel a tangible adoration that makes my heart so full, and at the same time, so heavy with responsibility.
Becoming a mother is the biggest mindfuck the universe could have served me up. Not because of the late night wake-ups or the spilled milk, but because I have a little person watching my every move. Everything I do, she learns from and emulates in her own way. It is both amazing and terrifying. There was a time in my life where I hated myself so fully, so completely. And that hate left scars on my heart that, like any scar, sometimes still hurt. I notice them when I look at my own belly. I see the pain of a young girl who didn't look the same as her friends. I see a girl that found solace... and eventually addiction in comfort food, in the most literal sense. I see the journey she took to change and choose happiness. I see the wear and tear of bringing a new life into this world. But most of all, I now see beauty. It is not a beautiful belly because it's flat or toned (it's not and it damn well might never be), it is beautiful because it tells the story of a woman who is worthy of self-adoration and love. I believe that loving yourself is a learned trait. I don't want my daughter to need to learn the hard way. When I say something about myself, my daughter will feel it about herself. And that is both the power of motherhood and the curse. Which is why I have a duty to her.
My duty to my daughter is to teach her that she is powerful. She is a work of art. She is valuable. The reason it is my duty is because the world will not do that for her. But the silver lining to a dark cloud of reality is that I am not alone in my task. There is something so strong and uplifting about the bond of womanhood that alleviates my fear and replaces it with hope. And this is where you come in.
We need to remind one another that we are powerful. We are works of art. We are valuable. Scotch & The Fox was created in hopes that women will come and share a space that is ours. A space that we can fill with our unique perspectives and opinions and interact with one another without limitation or reserve. I want you to share your insight on domestic politics and I also want you to tell me if that shade of red makes my hands look dead. Because honestly, if I have to bench Dutch Tulips until May… I will.
At Scotch & The Fox, we don’t have all the answers. I can’t tell you what the perfect blend of sassy and sweet is. I can’t tell you who to vote for (but, I can try). I can’t tell you what your “Oh No No’s” should be. But what I can do is offer a platform for discussion, and in doing so, bring a little unity to the women of Minneapolis. There is power in numbers, and that is a beautiful thing. We invite you to come along and grow with Scotch & The Fox while we celebrate the power inside each and every one of us.
We want you to come as a Queen and leave as a Goddess. And I like your belly, too.