“Measuring Up” by Dahlynn McKowen

This story appears in the anthology “Not Your Mother’s Book…On Being a Mom.”

Moms. We are always on the go, go, go and many times, ignore ourselves in the process.

I used to be one of those busy moms. Back in the day, I held a full-time, high-level management position which ran me ragged. Up early, kids off to school, commute to work to earn my very, very nice paycheck. When it was time to head home, my day went in reverse. Commute, pick up the kids from afterschool care then prepare dinner and help with homework. I nary had a moment for myself, except for an occasional glass of wine after the kids were tucked in.

To top everything off, peri-menopause was beginning to frustrate me to no end. From sagging body parts to fledging chin hairs, from fading eyesight to a fading memory, I tried my best to ignore all the signs. I also tried my best to ignore the fact that daily exercise and eating right were not a part of my normal routine. Getting used to this phase of my life at age 43 was slowly becoming a reality. But no one could make this fact more evident to me than my then 10-year-old son Shawn.

Shawn at the fair, summer 2001 (age 4)

From the day he was born, Shawn had always been on the small side. To keep up his self-esteem, the family made it a point to praise him for growing taller, using everyday household objects to gauge his growth. From the first time Shawn was able to see in the bathroom mirror by himself without having to use a stool to being able to sit at the family dinner table without the help of a telephone book, growth milestones in Shawn’s life were a constant in our home.

A favorite growth milestone for Shawn was the kitchen countertop. He loved cooking with me, but had to stand on a stool to help. Shawn dreamed of the day he wouldn’t have to use the stool anymore to flip pancakes or operate the handheld mixer.

Then the day came—Shawn finally grew tall enough to see over the counter, and the stool was retired. It was then I realized I had to come up with yet another new growth milestone. Looking around, the next obvious one was the top of the refrigerator—at 5-foot 7-inches tall, I couldn’t even see over the top of this

Dahlynn and Shawn on Mother's Day, 2007 (Shawn is 10)

Dahlynn and Shawn on Mother’s Day, 2007 (Shawn is 10)

large appliance. Stumped, I decided to compare my darling son’s height to mine, and to use my boobs as his new growth milestone.

My favorite thing in the world is to get hugs from my boy, who is lovable, caring and compassionate. Upon setting the new milestone, whenever he would hug me, I’d say, “Oh, Shawn! You’re almost as tall as my boobs!” He’d giggle, mainly because I would over enunciate the word “boobs.”

One morning, when I was enjoying my wake-up hug from Shawn, I was shocked over how tall he was, compared with my boobs. It was as if he had grown 4 inches overnight!

“Shawn, look how tall you are! You’re taller than my boobs!” I exclaimed, mid-hug.

Shawn pulled away and looked up at me with sleepy eyes. He mumbled, “Duh, Mom. You’re not wearing a bra.” He then headed into the living room to watch TV.

I stood in the kitchen, dumbfounded. Looking down at my peri-menopausal body, I realized that Shawn hadn’t grown 4 inches overnight, but quite the opposite—my boobs had decided to sag 4 inches.

Thanks to my loving, compassionate, caring and honest 10-year-old, I had a breast reduction and lift the following year. Now Shawn is 18 and way taller than my new boobs, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Moms 250RGBDahlynn McKowen is the CEO and Publisher of Publishing Syndicate. She, along with her husband Ken, are the creators of the Not Your Mother’s Book series. To learn more about Dahlynn, the NYMB series and other great books by the McKowen’s publishing company, please visit www.PublishingSyndicate.com.

Again, this story appears in “Not Your Mother’s Book…On Being a Mom.” The book is filled with 64 hilarious stories by moms raising their families. Purchase this book today from your favorite retailer, Amazon (http://amzn.to/12jKK6x) or Barnes & Noble (http://bit.ly/1vzYbfI).

To submit your stories for consideration in future NYMB titles, go to http://www.PublishingSyndicate.com and click on the “Not Your Mother’s Book” tab.