Full body photos. They just don’t happen in my world. I’m the picture taker in my life and I don’t even have a full length mirror so there is a very high likelihood that they won’t happen.

They happened.

Every year for Mother’s Day I get myself a photoshoot with my kids. We use the same photographer for since my kids were really little. I love the images! Those photos will continue to make me weep until I’m old and gray.

Now that my three are so tall we don’t fit on the cute little bench in the aesthetically pleasing urban alleyway anymore. And this year my photographer decided to have us holding hands and walking toward her, huddled together in the freezing wind (thanks, Minnesota!) and generally showing us from our head to our feet.

This is where I am clearly in denial about the size of me. And my Lipedema legs in particular. It didn’t occur to me at the time of the shoot that my legs would be showing, even when I knew it was happening. Which in retrospect is probably a good thing, because if I had thought about it I wouldn’t have done it.

I received the proofs yesterday. I cried and cried. I did all the things in my head one does when the size is shocking and painful and just too much. Not just my legs, all of me is just too much.

And then I saw this one. It’s like a textbook image of Lipedma legs. No denying or hiding those.

Four people, photo taken from waist down. Tall teen son loose light blue jeans, petite daughter in dark blue jeans, Mom with big Lipedema legs in black pants and teen daughter with short skirt and naked thin, knocked knee legs.
Which one of these is not like the other?
Photo: St. Paul Photo Co.

I went through all the photos (like 75 of them) not even looking at me, just picking the ones where the kids look good. I had to hide my pain from my girls, who don’t need to hear my self-hatred. They are beautiful and perfect and no matter what the future brings to their legs, they always will be. I will never feel that way about myself but they need to see that I want pictures of us all and I always will.

I’m doing my best to pick the ones that make me remember that hilariously windy day that I spent with my amazing, delightful and surly teenagers. They love me, no matter my size. Happy Mother’s Day to me.

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