I love the sunshine. I love feeling the warmth on my face and my skin. I look forward to the freckles sprouting on my nose and my skin becoming darker. And yet, I missed these steps the year I was pregnant. I spent most of that spring and summer in bed, growing my baby, feeling her move and kick inside me, and protecting her by staying on my back. I watched the sun from the window. She was born in July of that year and our recovery was slow. By the time we were able to enjoy the outdoors, the sun was fading and so was I. Winter rushed right in and the sun was forgotten.
But not by my body.
Soon, I was overcome by exhaustion. I felt silly by it, this constant state of tired. I was a new mother, sort of, my first born was 11 years old. So I shoved the feeling aside and continued loving my kids, my energy draining more each day. I slept when the baby slept, constantly. My circled eyes becoming darker and darker. Finally I knew this could not be normal. Whatever normal means.
I sucked it up and asked my doctor. Lots of blood was drawn from me and I fainted. Graham crackers never tasted so good, and the mystery was solved. All along, my body had a love affair with the sun for a reason: My body was deficient in Vitamin D. My body missed its lover. My body was wilting. My Vitamin D levels were in the single digits.
My doctor ordered me to take power doses of prescribed supplements and to wear sundresses and tank tops all summer. It was beautiful to feel the sun on my skin again, even if I knew neighbors would talk about so much skin being exposed. I didn’t care. My body craved the sunshine and soaked it up. Freckles popped up again, little kisses from my lover, telling me that I wasn’t forgotten. Slowly, I began to bloom again.
My lover pulled me out of bed and I raise my arms in gratitude. I am able to face the Winter’s cold because of it.