I’ve been taking Tilly and Hill on long, winding walks through leafy and under-trafficked bits of Central Park the past few days in the baking July sun, and I don’t know if it’s because I was born and raised in swampland, but I find the heat-induced flush and fatigue gratifying–even vaguely medicinal. Perhaps this is because I am considering these leisurely strolls the opening salvo to a more aggressive fitness campaign for which I have been mentally preparing myself in the aftermath of pregnancy.
I miss running. I haven’t run regularly in close to three years, but there was a time where I routinely ran a five mile loop through West Town, Chicago in around 40 or 45 minutes without batting an eye and considered, in a cloying fit of self-veneration, adding “runner” to my social media profiles. (Ick. Thank God I had the self-restraint to deprive myself of such self-adulation.) But — such was my affinity for the pastime.
More than running, I miss my pre-baby body. I know I just gave birth six weeks ago (exactly), but I would like to be able to dip into my summer wardrobe from last year without finding buttons stubbornly refusing to fasten and seams digging into my flesh thankyouverymuch.
I am wont to be bullish and over-zealous with such things. I tend to charge headlong into my goals rather than curtsying elegantly toward them. This is jarringly inconsistent with other realms of my personality, where I consider myself more measured and thoughtful about things. But the number of times Mr. Magpie and my mother have implored me to “take it slowly”? Countless. I never listen to them, and then they sigh and exchange knowing looks when I bemoan the inevitable injury or soreness or ailment. “You pushed it too hard, Jennie.”
Such was the case in the Hamptons, when I determined that a month was sufficient healing time for the c-section and picked mini up more than a handful of times, sprinted after her through the grass, moved my body in ill-advised ways. I paid for it in the days following, when my incision burned with such fury I thought for certain I had torn a few stitches. For two days, I shuffled along, feeling as I had just two weeks after birth.
“You pushed it too hard, Jennie,” thundered my chorus.
So this time. This time! I am determined to demonstrate patience.
On one of my walks this week, ambling along the mall in blithe easement, I lingered over the lyrics of the Lady Antebellum song “American Honey” song, which happened to stroll through my headphones:
She grew up on a side of the road
Where the church bells ring and strong love grows
She grew up good
She grew up slow
Like American honey
Steady as a preacher
Free as a weed
Couldn’t wait to get goin’
But wasn’t quite ready to leave
So innocent, pure and sweet
I initially thought of mini, of how satisfying it had been to see her tearing through the yard of our vacation rental, watermelon juice staining her swimsuit, hair a tumbleweed, little feet sooty with dirt. And I revisited some of my hesitations around her current alienation from cricketsong. As I circled back toward home, though, my thoughts roamed in a different direction, into a herd of musings on my recovery and my aspirations to reclaim my pre-baby body. (Reclaim. Now there is a loaded word I’ll need to unpack.) The lyrics reminded me — in spite of the nownownow-ness of contemporary urban life, where “on demand” and “free fast shipping” are the de facto conditions under which we operate —
that slow can be synonymous with good.
And that I might just be staring into the face of one such circumstance.
Cheers to getting back into shape the good and slow way.
+How pretty are these caftans/robes/tunics from D’Ascoli? In love!
+Love this loose-knit sweater (on sale!) — great colors!
+After talking for literally a year about buying or not buying Birkenstocks (I just could not…get my head around them), I wound up buying these waterproof single-buckle slides by the brand. HA. I saw a woman wearing them with a breezy caftan the other day and thought, “Well hm. I kind of like the single buckle style. A little less clunky on the leg.” And then I took mini to the splashpad and, for the millionth time in a row, scolded myself for wearing my Hermes Orans, which really should not be worn in puddles and mud. (Shame on me.) I thought these waterproof slides would be the perfect pair to keep handy in the basket of the stroller. I spent a good three hours (no exaggeration) debating between the white and the coral colors and ended up with the latter because they made me happy. So. That’s my story.
+MAJOR Kissy Kissy sale! I’ve written about how much I love this brand dozens of times. So well-made and the softest cotton. I have actually been really into convertible gowns with micro — I convert them into the gown format at night and it makes those nighttime diaper changes a breeze! — and so I have this in my cart. Also love these cloud-print jammies.
+The Webster is running an extra 20% off their amazing sale section with code EXTRA20, and these Alexandre Birmans are in my size and — with promo — only $100. DONE. (Also dying over this gorgeous gingham dress, this floral Saloni, and several other pairs of shoes including ultra-covetable “Coco” mules by The Row, sweet gingham Repetto ballet flats for well under $70, and Loewe espadrilles for a song.)
+Just ordered this pretty dress.
P.S. Interesting to revisit my musings on postpartum weight loss / body image from the last go around.
P.P.S. Also interesting to revisit my reflections on my nearly forgotten injury from last December — and all your generous comments.
P.P.P.S. Have so appreciated your comments on two specific posts in the recent past: this one on being scolded for making a bad parenting decision and this one on nursing.