Just removed my first mean comment, after a bit of pondering on how to respond to it. It didn't take long to conclude that while people have the freedom to express their opinions about me, since I'm the one putting my story out in public, it's not worth putting a lot of energy into rebutting, educating, or (even? especially?) defending myself to online strangers who go on attack. It helped that she attacked me in an area I'm not concerned about. If she'd actually attacked me on one of my weaknesses, I'd probably have more trouble letting it go.
Moving on. It was hot today. In hot weather, these are my ideal places to be, in descending order:
1. In a sandy bottomed lake.
2. In any lake.
3. In a slow-moving river.
4. In an outdoor swimming pool.
5. With my feet in a fast-moving river.
6. At a splash pad.
7. Running through the sprinkler.
8. Washing the car.
9. Sitting with my feet in a bucket of cold water. (This one was brought to my awareness by Linden and our neighbor girl. Brilliant.)
As far as I'm concerned, the benefit of hot weather is the enjoyment of cold water. So I squeezed my matronly body into an old Speedo and took the kids to a splash pad, the other options being too time- and gas- consuming for today. As I wandered through the spray, I slowly realized that although I was not the only parent enjoying the water with the kids, I was the only one wearing a bathing suit. Then I noticed a hot young mom in a bikini, which just sort of proved my point. Then I realized I work with her, and had to stop and make small talk instead of punching her in the throat.
It's summer. It's 87 in the shade, and we're all broiling. Why are so many moms hovering on the edge of the water, all covered up and sweaty? What are we teaching the kids about their bodies, that we feel ours must stay hidden?
My mom always got in. She too loved the water. She stayed somewhat slimmer than I have, but after three pregnancies, her belly was soft and round, and she had varicose veins popping out of her calves. What I learned from her was about enjoying the water, not about hiding your aging body.
When my daughter said, "Mama, please will you go into the water with me?" and I shucked off my shorts and shirt, she gasped with admiration at the bright purple color of my suit. "Oh Mama, I LOVE your swimsuit!" she exclaimed. She didn't care about the waddle of my thighs, the bulge of my belly. My wish for her is that when she's 43, no longer a slim little miss, she'll be willing to put on her suit and get in the water.