The Mom Gets in the Pool*
*With a tip of the hat to Allison Tate’s “The Mom Stays in the Picture”
Yesterday I spent four hours at the official opening of the neighborhood pool, which we joined for the summer. There were at least 200 people at this party.
You know how many moms got in the pool over the course of four hours?
At one point I counted the number of moms wearing suits: 15. Every other mom in the joint was wearing regular clothes, huddled up with a friend or hunched over a phone while their children frolicked with dad. Or alone.
This was not a weather issue. It was gorgeous. A high of 81. I spent the whole time in the sun with SPF 50 and hardly got any color.
No, I’d bet my bathing suit top–a significant bet, trust me–that it’s more of a bathing suit problem.
And ladies, let me be clear. I HEAR that. Me and bathing suits go way back and not in a friendly way.
But that will not stop me from getting in the water, for three reasons.
1. I’m a So Cal girl and I love the water more than I don’t like the way I look in a swimsuit.
2. I gave birth to three children who are half fish.
3. Two of them are girls and I would rather poke my eyes out with my big toe than make them feel that only women who look the “right” way or wear the “right” size deserve to be seen in a swimsuit.
Sometimes, I can can rock the suit out of the gate. And other times, like today, I take a deep breath and fake it til I make it. Today that moment was when another mom leaned over and said “I am so glad that you swim. So many moms don’t swim.”
Dana pointed out a long time ago, it’s really true that nobody’s looking at us.
I mean, they may have been looking at me when I was screaming, laughing, splashing with my kids. Or doing the Chicken Dance on the pool deck—that’s because I do a mean Chicken Dance.
But they aren’t looking at us like that, like “Who does she think she is walking that fat a** all over this pool?”
Not the nice ones anyway, and who gives a flying fig what the mean ones think?
Your children will love it. When you get your hair wet, and do cannonballs and partner up for the water balloon toss. You’ll be that mom, the fun one. And if you think they won’t remember, they do. I do.
My mom got in the water with us and played hard. You ain’t seen nothing in this world until you have seen your mom come down a water slide head first and shoot through the inner tube hooked on the end.
I can’t tell you what she was wearing or how she looked in it.
But I can see the grin on her face and hear her scream as she hit the water. WHOOOOOOOOOOO!!!
So what if this summer, we made a pact to do it differently? And what if I could promise you that all of the following are true:
The kids are waiting.
The suit doesn’t look as bad as you think.
Your hair will recover.
And you know you want to.
So let’s all stand up. Take off our t-shirts.
And be the moms who get in the pool.