Bring In The Clowns

After the discomfort of wearing tight blue jeans during my holiday eating spree, I yearned for the panel pants of my maternity years. I’ve never loved a pair of pants as much as I loved those. The elastic waist-band, the panel that stretches with your stomach – I wore my maternity pants for a year after each of my kids were born.

I believe someone should revive them for the menopausal years. We could call them Xnaps – a reverse kind of Spanx that expands rather than constricts.

The maternity outfits worn today by svelte women who carry a neat little baby-basketball out front would have never worked for me, because I gained weight EVERYWHERE during pregnancy. My stomach, my ass, my thighs, my fingers, my feet . . everything grew right along with my ravenous desire to eat.

Pregnancy was a free pass to gluttony for me, and I enjoyed every single calorie.

I borrowed the majority of my maternity wear from our minister of music’s wife, Gail, and I would like to thank her again for sharing her clothes with me. But we both laughed, even then, about the presence of the bows. If you were pregnant in the 80’s or 90’s, you already have a visual.

Every maternity outfit came with a gigantic bow, looming like a bad mother’s day corsage on the front of your dress or blouse.

I think the men who created the 80’s maternity wear decided to use a bow as a diversion tactic. If I had a big, fat bow at the neck of my dress or blouse nobody would notice the ever-growing humanoid in my stomach who was causing my belly-button to turn inside-out.

Or perhaps a designer decided that dressing pregnant women as clowns was preferable to having them look pregnant. I have to admit that my feet did get bigger with pregnancy, so I could have added clown shoes. And I did end up with cystic acne on my nose that was rather bulbous and bright red.

At least I was more of a clown than a clown car. Thank God on my delivery days only one little clown at a time came out.

Looking back at my maternity pictures I laugh with delight at my outfits, my size, my youthful exuberance, and my big bows. Because heaven knows that once those little babies were born I spent many a day singing, bring in the clowns . . . there ought to be clowns . . .

Then those two babies that left me absolutely exhausted and in tears would do something that made me laugh, and I would sing quietly to myself,. . . don’t bother, they’re here.

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