Today as my family was piling into the van before church, Zachary stopped short behind me and posed a startled question:
"Mom, WHAT is THAT on the back of your leg? It looks like a huge, bulging blue vein!"
I laughed. "Well, that's exactly what it is. It's a bulging blue vein."
Zach seemed surprised by my matter-of-fact tone. "Does it hurt?"
I replied, "Yes, it does. It hurts all the time."
"Why do you have it?"
"It's just something that happened when I was pregnant with Gavin, and it has gotten worse in the two pregnancies I have had since then."
I laughed again (because seriously, an ugly vericose vein is pretty low on my totem pole of physical maladies), and then a few lines from Julie Beck's Women's Conference talk popped into my head. Quoting a woman who had just given birth to her eighth child, she said, "I don't do this because my children tell me I'm cute. I don't do this because I get all the help I need. I don't do this because anyone affirms what I'm doing. I do this because the Lord has taught me that it's the right thing to do, and He will help me on the difficult, back-breaking days." (This is found starting around 14:00 in this video broadcast of Sister Beck's fantastic talk; the transcript is not yet available.)
This isn't the first time my children have had comments about my figure. And I'm sure it won't be the last. Luckily for me, there are plenty of people in my life that keep me humble, like the lady at church today who asked if I was certain I wasn't having twins.
I'm glad she didn't see the ugly vein on the back of my leg!