I do believe that life can be measured in boob moments. I mean we come into the world looking for boobies and spend our first years finding comfort in them. They provide us with warmth, food, comfort, a sense of belonging and LOVE.  OK so now you are going to say “but not everyone is breast-fed” and that is true, this is not a ‘breast is best’ campaign, it is more of a ‘breast is belonging’ thing as you will see as we go on. So bare with me and let’s see where this little boob-fest takes us.

My kids (girls) are both a little obsessed with boobies. They call them their ‘Katie Perries’ after being impressed with the pair that she flouted in the ‘California Girls’  video. They love to look and laugh at mine (yes I know, a little mean of them but hey, I’ll get my turn) and are often musing over what theirs will look like. Now I think it is interesting to note that I am not a boob girl. I have NEVER really paid much interest in mine, didn’t want ANYTHING that was likely to interfere with my sports and ‘lifestyle’ (hahahahaha) and have no interest in flouting them. Now it’s not that I am prudish or shy about them, I just find them a bit annoying but more about that later…..

Ok, so in my experience I can safely say that boob moments have been significant in the life of my two little children and they are not even out of primary school yet.  So what happens next?

PUBERTY.

Oh My God is all I can say about that. It is happening sooner and in a more ‘in your face’ way than ever before, indeed it is no longer remarkable that girls aged 9 or 10 are developing their own set of Katie Perry’s.  Makes me feel old…… Very old.

No matter what age they ‘sprout’  that moment of realizing that your body has decided that you are ready for the next part of your journey is challenging stuff.  Boob-moment ‘puberty’ can be messy, painful and a tad embarrassing especially as symmetry isn’t compulsory in these early days!

I do remember a few things about my own boob-birth.  Firstly I remember thinking that I was a freak as one grew faster than the other.  The ‘older’ boob was a bit lumpy, painful and awkward – I really didn’t appreciate this new and troublesome tit and wished that it would just go back to wherever it was hiding.  The next thing that I remember is the first bra, yes that momentous occasion when your mum tells you that you are beginning to frighten little children with your protrusions and they really do need to be brought into line with the help of copious lace, padding and elastic.  I HATED my first bra with a passion, it wasn’t bad-looking but it’s personality didn’t match with mine (my first ‘it’s not you it’s me’  moment).  It itched me (I had suffered eczema all my life), dug in and made my mono-boob look huge.   So, I spent most of that ‘adjustment’ period of my boob-life running to the school bathroom and whipping off the bra before stuffing it into the secret pocket that would soon be used for those other womanly essentials. YUCK.

I was not alone in my mono-boob, bra-hating sentiments.  I had a few friends whose troubles were bigger and smaller than mine – the boob sisterhood was forming as we swapped notes about life with our new ‘too big’, ‘too small’ or ‘too weird’ bodies.  I doubt that my kids will feel like I did about the whole thing, they already seem much more confident and less embarrassed about the whole growing up thing than I was.  Do I thank Katie Perry for that or is it my wonderfully body-loved-up parenting style…….?

Ok so fast forward to the ‘boob baggage’  mid teenage years where the lens is firmly focused on the ‘self’ and every little bump counts.    Large boob owners feel burdened by their weight and back-straining capacity and those with small boobs feel incomplete and too boyish. Those inbetweenies don’t get off lightly either as there is always someone with a better pair of mamories ready to thrust into your face.  They’re too spotty, too hairy,  too white, too dark, too big, too small, too pointy, too painful, too unsymmetrical, too nipply, not nipply enough, too scarred, too gravity affected, too squishy or too hard.   Boobs SUCK sometimes and for a teenager that sometimes can be all-of-the-times. 

But all of that angst fades once we realize the potential that these little jelly fun balls contain.  For some they become currency, something to display in times of desperation.  Our trump card that let us turn situations around to our favour, get us the best table, a free drink,  some good company and a trip up the career ladder.  Welcome to the boob economy!   Now I am not going to let the fact that my ‘boob economy’  made Greece’s situation look great stop this story. I understand and actually agree that our boobs should not be used as a deposit on a house, as a relationship lure or as a meal ticket but I can’t deny the fact that some (many) women LOVE this part.  Personality  is right down the list when you’ve got jelly to burn…..

But then it get’s serious.

You get a little (or a lot) older and your inner boob-clock starts ticking. The angle of the nipple is as much a judge of age as those ‘laughter lines’ that you’ve been sporting.  The boobs may well have ‘done time’ in the milk bar once, twice, three-times over, may have been squished, prodded and poked by one-too many doctors and may have even been sliced, diced and spliced.  Your boobs tell a story and that story does not always have a happy ending.

It is tragic that something so life-giving, female defining and natural can turn bad. Breast cancer can tear families apart, shatter confidence and grate away at that feminine vitality and spark. Boobs give and boobs can take away……

And so it goes on as each passing decade leaves its imprint on our breasts marking the passage of time and our journey from cradle to grave.

The boobs have it.

Whatever your story you have to admit that nothing depicts the female life journey better than the boob and for that we celebrate them.  Nowadays I neither love nor hate my pair, I just accept that they are mine and enjoy the changes that each phase brings.  The next challenge for me looks like being one of guidance, leadership and example as I prepare to help my daughters jump through the hoop into the sisterhood of boobines.  Give me strength and let’s hope that their Katie Perries help them to realize the beauty in the long and winding sisterhood journey. 

Oh to be turning  10 again…….