Friday, June 21, 2013

a promise to my kids, in swimsuit season

I'm headed to a hotel with a pool this weekend. Blake loves hotel swimming pools. Adores them, really. Vesper also loves to play in the water. And so I am left in a quandary: do I join them and don the dreaded swimsuit, or do I hope some older child or other family member will play with Blake so that I can remain safely clothed on the deck?

Zach Galifianakis, swim calendar, 2010
Like many women, I don't tug on a swimsuit, look in the mirror, and think with satisfaction, "YES! That is exactly how I want to look in such a tiny amount of stretchy material." I avoid the mirror, or look with discouraged eyes at my muffin top, pasty pale skin, and visible veins, and secretly plot cosmetic surgeries we cannot afford and which I'd be terrified to undergo even if money were no object.

Blake doesn't see that, though. He sees me in a swimsuit as game, up for fun, ready to play, but maybe please don't splash my face.

My pledge to Blake, today: I will get in the pool and play with you.

I will set aside my insecurities about my body, remembering that no one else is as critical of me as me, and no else really notices or cares that I do not have the body of a swimsuit model. No one expects me to, either.

I will set aside my selfishness and vanity and get my hair wet and have mascara down my face and get splashed and dunk you and maybe let you push me in.

I might even let someone take a photo of us playing together, because what you will see and remember is the part about us playing together, and not Mom's squishy tummy, dimpled thighs, raccoon face.

That's the part I want to remember, too. The part where I laid down the thing that seemed so important to me (the towel) and picked up my kid and threw you in the pool, then jumped in after. I want to have more fun in that pool than you do.





Grammie Perrine said...

Gosh, I actually cried reading this...wish I had put my vanity aside and joined my sweet baboos in the water when they were little..but NO....their memories never include their mama. YOU ARE A GOOD MOMMY...have fun making those memories!

Noel said...

I love it. Way to go, Mom. And, while you're at it, for a mere $12, you can fix the racoon eyes part. After being widowed I never buy anything but waterproof mascara (never know when the waterworks will sneak up on me). Mac, Zoom Waterfast Lash is the best one I've found. Just sayin'. xo

ktenness said...

Our society is soooo messed up considering practically ALL WOMEN feel this way.

Molly said...

I love this.