Dear "My Feet Still Hurt",
I read your letter to the Young Couple today. I felt the longing in your diction, the yearning in your syntax. In that moment, as you reflected on younger days of freedom and flirtatious glances, you somehow forgot to reflect on your nowadays. And that is truly sad, because there is so much more to your nowadays than the disappointment and embarrassment you showed in your letter.
I am a fellow wife and mother, a woman with those wrinkled grape stretch marks you described, who prefers comfy shoes (I wear chucks) to stiletto heels. Yet I take such a different view of my nowadays. I come home everyday to three little girls who scream "Mama!" the moment they see my face. I giggle and blush when my husband comes home and sneaks up behind me for a quick nibble at my neck and sweet nothing whispered in my ear. Yes, we must remember to pay bills, and most of the time I carry a diaper bag rather than a coach purse, but I do not spend my days comparing my bliss to that of the Young Couple.
They have their own kind of joy and excitement. And I am happy for them. I remember those days with fondness. But my joy and excitement has not vanished; it has simply transformed. It has grown to envelope three more people, a whole new side of family, a loyal dog we adopted in our "young" days, and countless memories that we continue to make daily.
Please do not forget your joy, dear friend. Do not let muffin tops, tennis shoes, or twenty-something girls cause you to wish for days before your blessed children arrived, before your boyfriend became your partner for eternity, before you grew into the incredible woman you have become. Because your nowadays are something to be proud of and days to take joy in getting to experience.
The Joyful Woman