How Did I Ever Hate This Body?

I have never washed my body with such tenderloving care as I did the day after my son was taken out of it. 

This body- that so innocently received my husband.

This body- that grew my child for 40 weeks.

This body- still swollen with the proof of my motherhood.

This body- that has carried me 41 years over mountains, through marathons, in oceans, and down many city streets.

How could I despise this body?

How could I deny the strength of this body?

That even now oozes colostrum, drips blood, knits flesh with stitches and grit.

I stood alone in a warm shower tenderly peeling away bandages from where my son had been pulled out of me screeching and peeing as he entered the world. I scrubbed firmly, yet respectfully, the skin bearing the marks of birth:  catheters, IVs, and a love deeper than the pain of arrival. 

How did I ever hate this body?

Full and round.

Glorious and strong.

Tender and good.