Friday, June 10, 2005

A whale of a tale.....

When ~K~ was a toddler, my sister took care of her while I worked. At that time, two of my nieces were on a summer swim team. My sister would take ~K~ with them to the swim club and I would meet them there after work and pick up ~K~ and take her home. While the girls were practicing, ~K~ would usually cavort in the baby pool. Every day she'd ask me to go swimming with her but I was usually tired from work and at the time I did not have a swim suit.

Not that this should have mattered, I could have just gone swimming in my shorts and a shirt. There were plenty of other children with their moms in the pool and most of these moms wore their t-shirts and shorts over their suits anyway. Something I remember doing years ago too.

But I learned to be comfortable with who I am. I'm a big (albeit beautiful) woman. A wet t-shirt and shorts cannot hide that fact. And let's face it, we all have unsightly bumps and bulges and veins and spots and freckles and cheesey and saggy parts. But who cares. The thing is - WE ALL HAVE THEM. And more importantly, my baby wanted me to go swimming with her.

(I'm suddenly reminded of a line I read in a book whose title escapes me at the moment.... anyway, it is a great equalizer and it went something like this: "Remember, even the most beautiful woman in the room has a pimple on her butt." )

But I digress.... Back to the story.

So one day, after work, I went to the mall and bought a brand new swimsuit. I changed my clothes at the club and climbed down into the baby pool. Since the steps in the pool were covered with the more fearful toddlers and my child was hardly afraid of anything (except getting her face wet) we were stepping in and out at the side of the pool frequently. Mostly for me to get a towel to dry ~K's~ face but the point is, I was not just sitting in the water trying to hide.

In a way, I felt empowered. Here I was a big woman, wearing just a swimsuit. No t-shirt, no shorts, no coverup. Feeling comfortable with my body. Getting in and out of the pool. Where EVERYONE could see me. Perhaps inspiring other moms there to be comfortable with themselves too. Perhaps inspiring them to get into the pool in just their swimsuits.

When it was time to go, I just slipped my dress over my swimsuit, picked up ~K~ and her acoutrements and went home. I was in the bathroom getting ready to take a shower, when as I removed my new swim suit, I noticed something stuck to the inside of my thigh. It was the sanitary liner from the crotch of the new swimsuit.

It had probably been there from the moment I put the new swimsuit on. It had probably been there every time I put my leg up to step out of the pool and every time I put my leg down to step in. It had probably been there for EVERYONE to see.

So much for my feeling of empowerment.

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