You know when you hear a song and all the hairs stand up on your head? This one.
Maybe it’s because I am feeling grateful beyond words that my friend and her family escaped disaster last week when their home caught fire. Maybe too, at the love they have been shown since. God is good. People are good. Life is good.
Still. Somebody needs this today.
If it’s not you, you know someone. Tell them.
So don’t let your heart be troubled Hold your head up high Don’t fear no evil Fix your eyes on this one truth God is madly in love with you So take courage Hold on Be strong Remember where our help comes from
You really thought you were going to bring your perfectly make-up’d, perfectly coiffed, cougar self to the club on a holiday to lounge in the pool, flirt with the lifeguards and keep your hair dry?
Lady, you had one too many organic agave margaritas. There is a reason the rest of us are wearing ball caps. We all have salon hair. We all have dreams of keeping it safe.
It’s a pool full of water and kids though. The hats are really only a gesture, so that we can tell our stylists without sinning that yes we did take steps to protect the weave.
When you waded in with your drink in your hand, what did you think was going to happen? This isn’t Vegas. There were four babies in swim diapers. Water in your hair was the least of your concerns.
But no. You huffed and puffed in annoyance. You dropped an f-bomb or two. Most of the ball-capped mamas rolled their eyes at your expecting to stay dry in a pool and shooed their kids away from you.
It says something about you–and it’s not nice–that you are willing to be rude to kids, counting on the fact that their moms won’t confront you.
It must have surprised you to learn that sometimes, a ball-capped mama with her third vodka-poolwater-tonic in hand will witness you giving her kid and his friend the business along the lines of “You need to stop splashing. I already told you to stop. I’m not going to tell you again.”
She will get up from her seat at the table and grab a water cannon. It’s not hers but that doesn’t matter because she is going to war for all the mamas. You’ll see her coming and harden your face for a “chat”. She’s not coming for words. She’ll walk down the stairs into the pool next to you and load that cannon. Then she will hold it in the air like the freaking Terminator and say “What are you going to do, Gino?”
You won’t know–how could you–that this is a time honored challenge in her family. You’ll look confused as you wonder who she’s talking to. It’s hard to tell through her sunglasses under her hat brim. Maybe Gino is that big guy across the pool laughing out loud. She waits for an answer. You’ll decide that your hair is not worth the mystery. You’ll get out of the pool.
Good call. Gather your things and leave with all the dignity you can muster. And next time remember: family-friendly pools come with a 99% chance of wet hair.
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.”
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:
It has been one of the greatest summers of my motherhood.
But I am not sad to see it go.
We’ve been to all the movies. I liked Kubo and the Two Strings best with Pete’s Dragon a close second. We swam in pools, lakes, rivers and oceans. We camped and hoteled and grandma’d. Went to bed at 10 and woke up at 9. We ate a lot of ice cream.
We are fat and tan and sassy.
It was a wonderful season, but the wheel is turning and I am ready for the greatest season of all: SCHOOL.
Blessings to the teachers whose school year started weeks ago with trainings and planning and classroom setting up. I see you.
But please, do not expect to see me until at least October.
My ears are bleeding from the 13 million times they have had to process the word Mom since June 10. Or Can I have a snack? Or Can we do something fun today?
My back is aching from loading the dishwasher twelve times a day with thrice the number of drinking glasses as children in the house.
My brain is weak from trying to solve the mathematical conundrums of laundry, like the ratio of shorts to underwear (many vs. hardly any) and family word problems (If five people are going to the pool and mom asks you to pack towels for everyone, how many towels do you need? SHOW YOUR WORK.)
My heart must recover from things like this cup of yuck I found on my hutch:
“What in the HIGH HOLY HEAVEN is that??” I thought to myself. Then I called for Gabe.
“Oh yeah” he said. “I wanted to see what would happen if I rehydrated a piece of beef jerky.”
And if that wasn’t enough, Annie ran up the stairs yelling “Is it swimming??”
Or this hide and seek playdate run amuck:
YES, I took a picture. I’ve learned to grab my phone when someone screams. My friend said I’m like a war photographer. But who’s going to believe this stuff without proof?
I need a moment, just a month-long moment to recharge.
And then come October 1, armed with a pumpkin spice latte and orange cranberry muffin, I’ll be ready.