I have a new hero.  Strike that, I have two.  It all stemmed from this...

“Mommy, not to hurt your feelings, but will I get big low breasts like you or small high ones like daddy's girlfriend?”

I would love to call the mother in question my friend.  I would seriously be honoured.  Yet this mama, with the big low breasts, has been just a momentary influence in my world...a stranger who stopped long enough only to tell her short story.  Little did she know the impact that her words would have on me.  You see, whilst we have never shared a pot of tea, or chatted amidst noisy toddler-play, I feel a real connection to this woman.

I wonder how this mama felt in the moment...as time stood still and her daughter waited expectantly for an answer.  I wonder if she felt a sense of dejection, of competition.  I wonder if she doubted her body, her breasts.  I wonder if her heart sank ever so slightly to meet her motherly boob-line…

I hope not.

I hope with all of my heart that this mama saw what I can see.  I hope that she saw her daughter’s question as a tribute to her own mothering prowess.  I hope that she felt a huge wave of pride sweep over her in knowing that her little girl felt comfortable enough to discuss her body with her mama.  I hope that she recognised the amazing degree of empathy with which her daughter approached this question and again, felt pride because children act like mirrors...reflecting back out into the world exactly what they personally experience.

This mama told me that she met this question with a sigh...with a deep breath and calm acceptance…

“Sometimes breasts change after having babies, especially after lots of babies like I have had.”

Perfection.  Would I be able to answer so beautifully if little bean were to ask such a question in the years to come?  Would I stumble and hesitate and second-guess myself as to the ‘correct’ words to find?  Would I feel the need to excuse my body?  To defend my breasts?

I sincerely hope not.

Because to me, this mama’s answer is simple perfection.  It is factual, non-judgmental and full of grace.  She did not try to compete; for she knew that any sense of competition had not been created by her daughter, herself, or her ex’s girlfriend.  No, the competition to out-boob one another is nothing other than a sales tool; a common booby-trap to turn us against each-other and instill in us all a sense that we will never be enough, no matter what shape or direction our breasts take...too small, too big, too flat, too full, too lumpy, too bumpy, too low...

No, this mama did not feed the mantra that we are bombarded with on a daily basis...she did not fuel the shallow notion that breasts are only worth something if they are pert and symmetrical.  She saw straight through the standard imagery and cleavage-laden billboards.  I have nothing but admiration and respect for her that she did not try to excuse or defend her breasts...nor did she belittle the pert boobs that hers were being compared against...and in so doing, she sent a very powerful message to her little girl; we are all perfect in our individuality and differences.

“Oh OK, I want big low ones then because I want children more than up-breasts.”

I just fell in love once again as I typed that out.  Isn’t this what it’s all about?  Doesn’t it put into perspective the seemingly endless night-feeds, the cracked nipples and external judgement?  For me, it does.  Because the concept of up-breasts is actually rather flat...it is one-dimensional.

But this mama’s big low breasts capture the very essence of what it means to be multi-dimensional; they are intrinsically linked to motherhood, to babies and love.  Her breasts are powerful; they sustained and continue to nurture life.  They have a use, a purpose.  They are appreciated not only for how they look, but for what they can do.  They are truly needed.

More than this, this mama’s breasts are symbolic of the journey that all mothers take when bringing new life into this world.  They are celebrations of the children we have birthed and raised.

In truth, it doesn’t matter what direction our breasts take, it certainly doesn’t mean a thing to our babies and children.  For them, a mother’s bosom is comfort, it is warmth and it is nourishment.  This applies to breasts of all shapes, all sizes and all directions and in this way, I suppose that all boobs are actually ‘up-breasts’.

Because when little bean is down, I know that my breasts are a source of pure happiness to lift her spirits.  And when little bean is poorly, I know that my breasts make perfectly-tailored medicine to boost her immunity.  You see, even when little bean is just plain exhausted, I know that my breasts are the comfort she needs to conjure up a soothing state of serenity.  Because in reality, no matter what physical shape a mother’s breasts are, she will always have ‘up-breasts’….big low up-breasts, perhaps, but up-breasts all the same.  And our little beans wouldn’t have it any other way.

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