A Portait of Learning
Yesterday I was walking around the yard in my bathing suit. It was a two piece that I feel somewhat comfortable in, but ladies, we all know the struggle to just saunter around in a bikini. This summer I decided to just wear my bathing suit, nothing fancy, nothing new, just a bathing suit so I can play and get wet and (gasp!) get some sun on my tummy. The kids came outside and we watered the garden and cleaned up some toys, it was crazy hot and we cooled our feet in the kiddie pool.
As I walked to get the hose I had a sudden flash back of being a 14 year old at the beach and absolutely cringing as I walked past strangers, who I was positive were silently judging me in my bikini. I hated the thought if someone walking behind me, seeing imperfections on my body, seeing skin move where it “shouldn’t”.
I glanced behind me and saw Wally following me like he does, but when we made eye contact he didn’t ask me why my bathing suit didn’t fit, he didn’t giggle and say something mean... he just smiled - and gave me a thumbs up.
I realized in that moment, that to my kids, I am whoever I choose to show them.
It was like a light turned on, and I recognized who Wally was looking at... he was looking at his Mom who shows her tummy in the summertime, who exercises in the backyard once every few weeks, who says we all need to eat vegetables, who loves popcorn as much as he does, who is strong, who is healthy, who is happy in her skin. He was looking at me.
Last summer I never would have taken my shorts off, not even in my yard. Heck, I’m still sabotaging myself a few times a week and saying I’m “too big” to wear this or enjoy that. Carrying too much weight to have fun with my family.
When Wally grows up and has a person to love, I hope he remembers his mom who wore a bikini in the summertime, who’s body was soft + safe, and that he loves and encourages that person enough to be happy as they are.
Kids learn what they see.
Mine will learn happiness.
So, I better get learning it myself.