Last month, my Tween wanted to create this “bucket list” so she wouldn’t be “bored all Summer ?” (<—that emoji is EXACTLY the face she made as she told me about said “bucket list”!)
Being the adventurous and ahhhhmazing mom that I am… ?… (Hahahahahahaha I snorted as I typed the adventurous part!) If you know me, you know that I’m a total helicopter mom! I think being an ER nurse has tarnished my “go jump on that trampoline into that pool while wearing a blind fold it’ll be so much fun! Oh! & Make sure you do that back flip too that mommy thinks is sooooo awesome honey!” mentality.
? I’m having palpitations just thinking about it! Ugh…
Let me get back to that bucket list! So anyway, I agreed to “consider” everything on her list so off she went to write it! When she brought it to me I thought… Hmm? We can do this! (See, my tween is a chicken! ? That kid won’t even go on the “veggie tale” ride at Dollyood! Um? That ride is meant for ages 3-7 ??) -focus Claudia!-
So on said bucket list I see things like “Dixie Stampede”, “Sweet Frogs Frozen Yogurt”, “Baking”, & “movie marathon” (I asked… “At home?” She said “yes!” I said…??✔️ “perfect!”) But also on the list was “Dollywood”! I loooooove Dollywood!!!! (Well, let me clarify, I love the caramel apples and cinnamon bread ? <—–drooling again!) My goodness I can’t keep one thought straight today! -focus Claudia-
I was actually excited to say the least about this bucket list. It was going to be good times and memories with my girls while daddy worked. (FYI: there were things on the list that required daddy participation… Like “wash the car” ?)
-If you all recall my tween had her tonsils out last month so our list actually started just about a week or so ago.-
This past Wednesday, which marked her 2 week tonsillectomy anniversary, she insisted we check off Dollywood and I was all for it! My mom joined us too! My Threenager LOVES Dollywood too!
-quick story- When my tween was a little sweet pea she’d say “mom! Are we gonna see Dolly Partner?!?!?!?!?! I love her park!!!” ??? #dollypartner #toocute (I must try to remember these adorable things more often! Especially when she’s testing my patience and jumping vigorously on my second to last nerve…)
While at Dollywood, (it was HOT! Fluffy people don’t like HOT! Like swampy HOT! ??☀️) the first thing we did was hit up the bakery! (hush!) We shared a gluten free brownie… (? The jury’s still out on that.) We walked a little and got a Smoked Turkey Leg ? and a Foot Long Corn Dog with Curly Fries before heading into the first show. It was awesome! It had some great oldies music (I LOVE OLDIES! Maybe because my mom forced us to listen to “Magic 102.7″ all the time!)
We ran, just kidding, we walked to the next show, and the next to let the sun chill out a little before heading to the “rides”. My Threenager is the complete opposite of my tween. (That kid will eventually cause me a heart attack! #daredevil) Anyway, we did several trips around the “piggies” and “duckies” and “bumble bees” until finally my tween built the courage up enough to ride the “Smoky Mountain Rampage”.
Anyway, my mom (who loves to encourage my tween to be less of a ?) gets all excited and says “let’s go!” So off we go and as we’re walking there I’m thinking there’s no way we’re going to be able to ride because my Threenager isn’t tall enough… Well! The kid happens to be 1/10th of an inch taller than the height stick! So… Here we go! (I realize when I sit down and strap my plump self in, that I’m wearing white capris… And granny-panties!?)
The entire time my mom and kids are just thrilled!!!!!! (Mostly because every time water came in the tube it came in on my side! ? Maybe it was just a balance issue? ?) As the 4 minute ride ended I could see the happiness in my TWEENS face! She was exhilarated! Her face was worth what I didn’t have to give! (My threenager was also loving every minute but mostly because she threw the water in her seat on me with a mischievous smirk on her face!) My mom quickly took out her phone and took a few pics. I hoped she captured one of the most candid and beautiful moments my eyes had seen. What mother doesn’t live to see her children happy? Time stood still…
As we got off the ride and walked to the tram I (in my white, completely soaked, chub rub friendly pants) felt mostly glad I wore a really long shirt, but also loved hearing my kids laughing and giggling about how my pants were completely see through! (I’m glad I was able to entertain them and all the other people around us!) Anyway, when we got to our car which was parked in “C for Cotton Candy” but based on my parking decisions could’ve been parked in “W for What Was I Thinking” since we literally had to walk back to almost “B for ? hmmmm? The first thing that comes to mind is definitely not the right thing so… (don’t judge me! It is only logical to think what I’m thinking! #dollyparton) -focus- In the car I decided to take a second and look through the photos my mom and I took…
Almost instantly, I was deflated, punched in the stomach, pained with regrets… Here was this image, locked forever!How could I have let myself get like this? How little do I think of myself to allow such disrespect of my 1 and only body? I felt embarrassed. I felt somehow like a tiny spec of sand yet like the white elephant in the room! I didn’t verbalize my disgust, mostly because if you remember my mom was the ring leader in my “intervention” and I couldn’t say a word… My immediate response was to delete this photo from my life… FOREVER! Gone! But then I looked to the right… there she was, my first born angel in one of the most honest and beautiful candid moments. Her happiness in that photo was palpable to me. That perfect instant captured FOREVER. Suddenly, I saw it as a gift… that photo that brought me such instant rage and disgust also brought me a deep happiness and gratitude for my child. I realized then, that this 1 photo was worth a thousand pounds!
When I came off the adrenaline rush of wanting to delete that picture, I thought to myself… I’m not just a figment of your imagination! Who am I kidding? Who exactly am I hiding from? I turned this situation around because instead of saying my usual “that will never be seen by anyone” I decided it needed to be seen by EVERYONE! I decided I would drop this photograph into the abyss that is social media. I accepted that this person was who I am right now. I decided that this photograph deserved a pedestal… It needed to be seen, shared, talked about. Not because of my “fatness” but because of the raw and honest beauty and happiness my little girl radiated. The world knows what I look like, the photograph remains because I needed to know what I looked like. I am at a crossroad. A hard and treacherous one, but this picture reminded me why and for who I will always work to find the best version of myself… one photograph at a time.
“Photography takes and instant out of time, altering life by holding it still.” – Dorothea Lange
Until next time… -BadCupcakeGirl