Kate Meyers: My summer pants are too tight. I'm sad because I have the same pair of cotton capris in four colors (bought at the Gap six years ago on sale for $10 each, thankyouverymuch), and they ARE my summer wardrobe. Only now, apparently not.
I mentioned this to my friend Liz, mother of three, who recently went back to work as a teacher this year. She said that work has made working out difficult, and suddenly she's walking around and she sees something following her and ... it's her ass!
This is what girlfriends are for. We laugh, we commiserate, we have a sip of something mood-altering. You tell a boyfriend/husband something like that, and he'll stare at you like a deer in headlights.
I have many girlfriends who have fretted about the sudden-extra-in-the-middle of middle age, but I was in denial until the pants. My daughter Emmy told me I looked the same to her as a certain mom we know who is petite and athletic. It was the sweetest little boost, even if it's not true. But it did remind me that whether I get new pants or put the old ones on a shelf while I cut out the pasta and the M&Ms, my kids still see me as the same mom they love.
My dad was like that, too. He never noticed the fluctuations, and once when we went to the movies, he told me he thought Michelle Pfeiffer was "too skinny." And he meant it. I will always love him for that, and I'm so sure that if he were still here, he'd tell me to stop worrying and get some new pants.