Summer comes with all sorts of good things. There’s camp for the kiddos, long days with a good book for me, and a handful of road trips scattered across the whole family.
There’s also bathing suit shopping.
This does not count as a good thing.
I was optimistic this year. I’ve lost more than thirty pounds since the last time I shopped for swimwear. Last summer, I didn’t go near a pool. That kept me from having to perform the ritual of suit shopping. Skipping out on water activities for the season was my virtual pause button. This year, I swore to myself, I will take the boys swimming. My kids shouldn’t miss out on swimming just to save me from wearing a bathing suit.
And I dropped thirty pounds, so swimsuit shopping might even be fun.
It turns out, those thirty pounds of extra flesh were not the only issue. No amount of weight loss can make me less white. And, ladies, I am white. Bright. Day-Glo. White. White. White. Also, I am thin, but not toned. I have not done the work to truly flatten my stomach. It no longer pooches out like I’m expecting a baby, but there is still the pool of flab, front and center, from the babies I already gave birth to.
And did I mention the whiteness?
Stretchmarks sparkle on white skin. And flab looks flabbier on white girls. Why is that? My ethnic friends (how PC of me) can rock an extra serving of curves and still look amazing. I just look like raw dough.
Now, before you assure me of my awesomeness, let me get to the point.
It’s summer. This is supposed to be the season of play. And here I am, trying on a billion bits of lycra, squatting and bending and examining myself from all angles. Because apparently, I have to look like a Victoria’s Secret model in order to enjoy some time in the water.
My body DID carry babies. And those babies are pre-teens who want to go to the blasted pool already. My body is capable of taking them to said pool and even swimming in it. It’s a pretty healthy body, all things considered.
I’m never going to be that 19-year-old girl who owned a drawer full of triangle bikinis and grinned for the camera while wearing them. But, I am still me, and the point of going to the pool with my sons isn’t to look fab (for who? My kids sure aren’t checking out my booty).
The point is to play.
The point is, I can always find something wrong, some reason to not be satisfied with my body, my self, my life. Always.
But, for today, I’m going to say, Screw the pause button.
Just press play.
*originally published on Middle Places