Hope has been having body issues lately. As if we needed more drama…but at least teen girl body issues is ‘normal’ right?
I’ve been cooking more. I pack Hope’s lunch daily. Hope supplements everything with junk food. This is also apparently normal for a lot of teens, but we cross over into snack binging when Hope is stressed, which is like, all the time.
After a long chat with AbsurdlyHotTherapist, I decided to phase out most of the snacks in the house and replace them with healthier options. Happily, this means I’m getting closer to my pre-Hope dietary regimen. I never used to have this crap in the house. I grew up thinking Crispix was a sugar cereal! #IDigress The house will soon be stocked with more fruits and veggies. Sure we’ll keep the granola bars, the hummus and pretzels, but the fruit snacks that she binges on are out of here as are the chips.
Hope put on a few pounds last year. She’s tall and the extra pounds fill her out; she looks good. She more or less agrees that she likes her body, but she is concerned about gaining more weight.
The relationship between weight gain, food and exercise are all lost on her.
I exercise regularly, nearly daily. I often invite Hope to join me. It always seems like a good idea to her at first, until she actually has to physically get up to join me.
A couple of weeks ago, I dragged her on a 3 mile walk with me. She dragged her feet, but eventually stopped complaining. It was clear that she enjoyed spending time with me. That night she fell asleep early; she was knocked out.
So, yesterday, on my way home from the office, I called Hope to inform her we were going for a walk when I got home.
She groaned. I told her it was not a request; she was going to walk with me.
I got home, changed and told her, “Let’s go.”
She groaned and put on her jacket. We hit the street and asked about each other’s day.
She told me about a sick friend. We talked about how I was phasing out some of the household snacks. She asked about nutrition. We talked about her problems in geometry and chemistry. She told me that she actually does a lot of reading about Korean culture besides the K-pop scene. I learned her hands really don’t warm up with exercise like mine do. We talked about the weather and pondered why it was so chilly when it was so warm at the beginning of the week. We talked about our hair and nails, and how I keep buying nail polish with the hopes of having time to sit down and paint my nails but never getting around to it.
We talked about her band assessment this week. Her reed cracked during class this week, and she needed to make sure her new reeds were ready before the next performance. We talked about test anxiety and what that looks like and how we might have a little problem with it. We discussed going to the St. Patrick’s day parade this weekend and the need to pick up her glasses at Costco. I asked her if she had any special requests for dinner next week so that I could make the weekend shopping list.
As we were walking back, we talked about how the skyline looked. She pointed out what appeared to be the North Star. She asked about Halley’s Comet, and I told her about how I saw it when I was a young girl so she should see it in her lifetime, when she’s about 60. If I’m lucky, I might get to be around for it a second time too. We stopped walking to look at the sky so we could confirm if it was really the North Star.
It was dark, but just before 7pm. Rush hour was happening in the sky; planes were coming in for landing at the airport a few miles away. We perched on the side of the bridge we were on to count all the planes. I explained why some were low but flying in circles; they were waiting their turn to land. A few planes were taking off. A military helicopter flew by in the direction of the nearby base. We looked up and saw the planes that were maintaining their elevation; they were clearly headed north of the DC area. We picked out the big and little dippers and a few other constellations. Hope clapped excitedly that she was able to pick out the constellations. We noticed a few stars that appeared to be more yellow and a few that appeared more red.
Hope’s hands were very cold, her only complaint, so we started walking again. She asked if we could have cocoa, I said of course.
We walked and talked.
As we got close to the door of our building, I told her that I really enjoyed catching up and looking at the stars with her.
Hope replied, “Me too.”
We’ll be walking in the evenings more often.