But I have no choice, you see. The pool is open, it's 80 degrees in the shade, and if I don't take them this afternoon, I am going to have a larger than normal Lord of the Flies scenario on my hands. It's just too hot for that. My maternity swim suit finally gave up the ghost; there really is no safety pin in existence to bridge the holes it's sporting and being known as "Flasher Mom" all summer doesn't sound appealing. It is starting to sound more appealing that staying in this tiny depressing room one more minute, however.
I am on suit 6. It's the best contender so far, only because it's one of those dress swim suits that was last fashionable around 1918. I squint at my reflection in triplicate and sigh. Really? Really? Why 3 mirrors? One isn't enough? Believe me, it's enough. And what is going on with these lights? My skin can't really be that color. It's nearly florescent! Pretty sure my breasts are in the wrong part of the suit if these little cup things are anything to go on. They are like Napoleon, roaming all over the place, taking over areas that don't belong to them. Do my legs really have that many bumps? Don't usually see them from this angle. It's very revealing. But not as revealing as suit #3; how dare they try to say that's a size 10! Maybe in space or something. I have freckles there?! Wow; who knew. And did I dream the delivery? Because my stomach is telling a different story.
I glance into the stroller just to make sure that Super Baby did indeed make it out of my body. He did. He smiles up at me with that full-faced smile that always makes me a little dizzy. He flails all his limbs, just to show me how excited he is to see me. The now familiar love-flood pours through me and I smile. This just sends him over the edge and he starts to giggle and wave his hands back and forth in utter glee. His gross motor skills are only 3 months old, so he hits himself in the face. He doesn't seem to care, shaking it off and peering back up at me in total bliss. A bliss caused by nothing more than my face near his.
I tear my eyes away from Super Baby to check on Super Preschooler and Super Toddler. They are engaged in some imaginative game that involves all the rejected swim-suits. Super Toddler has one streaming from her head like a veil and one draped across her torso like a gunslinger's bandoleer. She has collected all the hangers and is wearing them up and down her arms. In the course of watching her, she claims that her "purses" contain, in no particular order, money, kittens, cheese crackers, a guitar, and fireflies. Super Preschooler has 2 swim suits fluttering from his shoulders in a makeshift cape; he is racing circles around the tiny dressing room, speaking alternatively to his left and his right sides, where Invisible Grandpa and Bebe fly along next to him. It appears that some ne'er-do-wells are lurking underneath the bench and must be stopped at all costs, even if that means flinging rejected swim-suits at them and losing a stunning, if ill-fitting, cape.
As I survey my children in this tiny little room, my body no longer seems so hideous. I look down at my lumpy, bumpy, too short, too full, too pale, freckled in weird places frame and I feel slightly kinder to me. We made them, Body. (The fact that I refer to my body as if it were another being and not merged with my consciousness should speak volumes to you about my self-image. But bear with me. Rome wasn't built in a day.) You and me, Body. We made room where there wasn't any. We shifted and morphed in untold ways. We continue to stretch and arch and fold in ways that would break steel. We have been softened for better hugs. We have been toughened for more strength. We have been twisted for more patience. And we have expanded to better shelter these marvelous children. We actually made life, Body. Life. We are powerful and unstoppable and beautiful. We are beautiful.
I am beautiful.
I am basking in my new found self-esteem when a sharp tug on my bathing-suit skirt alerts me to Super Preschooler's little face staring up at me. I turn a beatific smile towards him; "yes, Angel?"
He just grins and wordlessly points at the toddler-sized space under the door and the briefest flash of a little girl's sandal. Her escaping giggles seem to echo off the walls of the tiny dressing room but only for a minute before they recede into the wilds of Meijer's women's section.
Well, the suit's a keeper. Any suit that can withstand chasing a toddler through Meijer, with no major indecency, can work just fine for the pool. Guess shopping for a swim suit with 3 kids under 4 is a great idea.
You weren't honestly expecting a picture of Awkward Mom in a swim suit,
Sorry. Not sorry.
Stay cool, Readers!