I’m not pregnant.
Not even a little. No babies in my belly these days.
Nor do I have a belly tumor, so fear not, dear ones.
What I do have are three things:
- A love of burritos (where “burrito” = all the food)
- A special talent for pushing my belly wall to the max
- The knowledge that all of us — even me — are worthy of Deep, Abiding Love, exactly as we already are. Beloved. Valued. And Beautiful. ← This is a true a truth as I know.
That why I’m making the announcement today that I am having a burrito, friends. And, as we women do for all the momentous events in our lives, I had a very special
maternity photo shoot to commemorate the occasion — a photo shoot we’re calling:
Not a Baby
(Just a Burrito)
I’m giving these pics to you, America and the world, because I’m pretty sure burrito babies can help make our world a better place, and Dear God in Heaven, we need the world to be a better place right about now.
The truth is, a few months ago, things were hard at our house. They’ve been hard before — we don’t live an uncomplicated life, after all, what with the five children and myriad special needs and we parents who are stunningly imperfect — and they’ll undoubtedly be hard again. But this time, my kid was falling wildly apart, psychiatrically speaking, which is, so far, my Very Least Favorite kind of falling-apart when it comes to our children. Mental illness is a deep, deep darkness — I would know — and it’s hard sometimes to remember to wave in the dark to the others who are waiting for dawn, as well, so we can recall we never wait alone.
It’s been a tough season, and it’s not over, but we’re on an upswing lately, and we’ve triumphed the way triumph happens in real life; by taking the next right step amidst many missteps, by breaking all the way down and cobbling ourselves partly back together, by circling back to our humans, by practicing radical self care in tiny ways, by trying to get good sleep, by reading escapist novels and a few trashy ones, and by being kind and cruel and then kind again to ourselves and our people. And, of course, by eating all the french fries, which, though completely unsustainable in the long run, is one of the best damn short-term strategies I know.Listen, though: Let’s acknowledge that we do not come out of tragedy or loss or grief or even a shift of expectations unchanged. We do not come out of eating all the burritos unchanged, either. Right now, I’m wearing the past season of life in my skin.
In my skin.
In my body.
I grieved. I worked hard for my kid. I ate All the Things.
And also, I am lovely.
AND ALSO, we are lovely.
Not “but we are lovely” or “nevertheless we are lovely” or “someday, if we’re very lucky and never, ever touch a burrito again we’ll be lovely.” No. Not those things at all. We come out of tragedy and grief transformed — sometimes utterly — AND ALSO we are lovely. Little and big bellies and all; we are stunning. And we are, every single one of us, worthy of deep love and celebration. From others. From ourselves.
When we know that’s true, we can learn to laugh and love a lot, and enjoy the hell out of our lovely, stunning selves.
Including during the burrito seasons.
In conclusion, I don’t know how long the burrito belly will last. It waxes and wanes like the moon. But I’m sure going to celebrate it while it’s here.
With abiding love,
P.S. Thanks to the crew, aka the Lovelies who attended the Grace and the Grime Spiritual Formation Retreat and got roped into helping with a Burrito Baby photo shoot. Y’all are good sports.
Crystal Kuttner Wolf
Bra and Burrito Holders:
Carrie Zelnar Hutchinson