A Life of Belly Love Moments by Sarah Vogel
Year 3, 7:45 p.m:
Bubbles (and laughter) everywhere. I splash the warm water over my belly button right before I dunk my head. I close my eyes and feel as if I’m in another world. “Make a bubble bikini before you get out!” Mommy exclaims. I giggle so hard it almost feels like a stomachache. The best stomach ache ever.
Year 10, 8:09 a.m:
Mom rushes us out the door. “Donut time!” My daddy says with a grin. To him, my roundness is cute. To her, it’s a curse. Something she gave me that can’t be taken back. “Let’s get that belly full before school.” He says, handing me the tongs and letting me pick out a sweet treat.
Year 19, 2:12 p.m:
“Inhale,” she says. “Feel the energy come into your belly.” “Belly?” I think, “Why would I want to put anything there? I came to this class to make that gut smaller.” Something tells me to stop judging and start listening. I let the air sail through my diaphragm. It fills me up and then washes serenity over me. Maybe this yoga lady is onto something.
Year 22, 4:32 p.m:
The rays of sun graze my belly. I sigh with pleasure. Instead of pinching it with my thumb and index fingers, I let my hands explore my bare stomach. Can it feel this way all the time, or does this only happen when margaritas are involved?
Year 27, 9:49 p.m:
What a meal! The food, the wine, the everything. My inner calculator tries to turn on, but something stops it. Why can’t I count? I wonder. I always count. I always know what it’s what when I eat or else I don’t (or find a way to get rid of it). Perhaps, finally, self-satisfaction > self-hatred.
Year 31, 3:25 a.m:
My belly hangs heavy, full of child. The pain wraps around it like a girdle, holding in what must come out. “Pressure,” I moan, my head resting on the table. I feel my partner’s hands squeeze my low back and the surge begins to subside. “It’s all over,” he says. “We can do this.” “Your body can do this.” My hands once again return to my belly, waiting for the next wave to crash into the shore.
Year 33, 6:17 a.m.
A toddler’s palm rests on my belly. He can’t feel it, but his sibling is doing a jig right below him.
I take a breath and feel their energy come into my center. Am I complete? In this moment, the answer is a definite yes.
The moments come, the moments go. But the love always returns.