We officially opened up the pool this weekend. We invited another family to come join us for swimming and grilling. All 10 of our kids piled into the pool for hours of water filled bliss. It's just the start of a summer where we will probably swim 5-7 times a week. The pool is definitely a happy place for my family.
However, bathing suits are not a happy place for me.
Each year the time comes when I must shed my clothes and harshly evaluate my fluffy, sagging, winter worn physique. And each year I have to decide what I will wear in the pool. For several years I had a bathing suit that I thought was moderately attractive, but I wore it for several seasons until the fabric on the tushy was all but worn off. That year I was forced to shop for a new suit. I probably tried on 20 different suits at a handful of different stores. So fit up there, but not down there or vice versa. Others pinched or pulled or squeezed in uncomfortable and unattractive ways. Some made me look like an old woman. And I am not an old woman.
So that year I gave up, went to the men's department and bought myself a pair of swim trunks. Why didn't I think of this sooner!?! They were so much more comfortable. No binding, no pinching, no butt hanging out and embarrassing me. Figuring out what to do on top was not as easy, but I found a tank top that sort of looked swimsuit-like and I was good to go. This year when I put on my trunks I figured I'd be able to avoid one more season of swimsuit shopping, but chlorine and sun took their toll. My tank top had lost all its elasticity. I stepped out of the pool and my top dragged behind me. I would be forced to buy a new suit.
I went out last weekend with Grace in tow. Luckily, in the last few years, bathing suit manufacturers have come to realize that not all women are shaped alike. They now sell separate tops and bottoms. You can mix and match. Now the problem I found was finding the perfect match of top and bottom. I finally ended up with a bathing suit bottom that is sort of a trunk hybrid. Not as long as man pants and made of regular bathing suit material. My cheeks did not creep out the bottom. Ah relief. The drawback to this suit bottom was that it only came in black and navy blue. My glow in the dark white legs do not look good against black. Maybe the black fabric makes my behind look smaller, but it makes my legs look flabbier and whiter. But I still bought one of each.
Finding the right top wasn't easy either. Somewhere between my late teens (when I was built like an actual stick figure) and my early 40's, my boobs seem to have gotten enormous. At least that's how they looked in every swimsuit top I put on. I'm not one to show a lot of cleavage. It also glows in the dark like my legs. So the plunging necklines of my top choices left me feeling very exposed. But Brian liked them.
So now I am the proud owner of two actual female bathing suits. They are not perfect, but they fit and I don't think I will draw too many stares or gasps. And maybe this will be the summer that I actually lose that extra 10-15 pounds and keep it off.
On the same day I bought my suits, I also bought some new suits for the girls. One of the suits I bought for them is a size 4T. It fits Grace who is a long, lean, willowy 6 year old. It also fits Louise, who is 2 and built looks like a bowling ball with dimples. Right now both of them are perfect. The perfect size, the perfect shape. And perfectly happy to be wearing anything at all if it means they get to be in the pool. But one day they'll stand in front of a mirror and start to judge, and doubt, and fret. If you have the magic remedy for poor body image please let me know. I want to inject them both with a giant dose now so they don't have to spend a lifetime worrying about how they look in a bathing suit like I have.