Can we make a pact, mamas? Can we get out of our heads for a few moments each day and embrace childlike play with our kids? Can we just sport our swimsuit of choice and flip a proverbial finger at whatever body image hangups we’ve accumulated over the decades and get in the pool/ocean/bay/sprinkler with our kids?
I know it’s been a tortured history. It begins with the eighth grade class pool party – hell for the early bloomers – hell for the late bloomers – let’s just lady lump that into hell for all blooming parties – and doesn’t get much better from there. Teenage trauma of fluorescent lighting wishing our bodies to fit into the Best-Of on The Gap and American Eagle sale racks, a first (inevitably tragic) foray into the art of bikini maintenance, and that one asshole boy confusing simple “I like you” English with a body image insult. Twenties decade trauma layering in it’s own truck-ton of fear of still not looking like a Victoria Secret model and single-stomachly de-Christianizing our God-fearing college boys with our bikinis in the evangelical circles where modesty is hottest-y. Suddenly it’s our thirties and our tummies we bare bear remembrance of the babies housed and held there.
Wear a swimsuit on that? Publicly? Yes.
We’ve wasted enough time sitting in the fear of feeling not (pretty/skinny/flat-tummied/big boobied/desirable/whatever) enough. You know what I think when I see teenage girls at the beach? Gosh, they are so pretty. I hope they know that deep inside. You know what I think when I see twenty-somethings at the beach? What stunners. I hope they hold confident their worth because they are absolutely gorgeous.
My kids don’t know this muddled battle of my body in a bikini. What they see is a mama delighting in them. Playing together. Splashing. Laughing. Being there as safety to hold onto when the waves get too strong.
You know what I think when I see you mamas of all sizes at the beach? Wow, what beauty! I hope she knows how delicious she is building sandcastles with those sandy babes.
Will you do this with me? Let’s wear the swimsuit. Let’s let our children and ourselves enjoy the bond of playfulness. Let’s get wet!