I waited in line patiently after the five-year old in front of me, looked to the life guard for a nod of "okay", and zip, splash, into the water I went. Down the water slide.
Yes, I was "that" mom, the weird, goofy one who got into the pool with her kids. The mom who did handstands in the deep-end, raced her kids across the pool, threw rings to be found at the bottom, and actually went down the water slide. I was in fact, one of only three moms that got in the pool today. And honestly, I don't totally understand it.
There have been so many great posts and social encouragement pleading moms to leave their body image issues behind, and to put on the swim suit, so that they don’t miss the moments of fun with their kids at the pool or beach. And I’m pleased to say that is happening. We are slowly getting to a point where no one thinks anyone else is looking at cellulite and stretch marks, so we are there. Yea! Beach chairs are lined up full of moms who are there with their kids. It's definitely a step forward, a sometimes very difficult one, but now we need to get in the water.
My husband and I recently returned from a vacation where the resort we stayed at had two awesome pools with water slides. We found ourselves asking if they were “just for kids” because no adults went down them. Happily, they were meant for all to enjoy, so my husband broke the mold and slid on down.
I’ll admit it took some prompting for me. What was I afraid of, having fun? Judgement from the boring parents on the side? Being cold? Water going up my nose? Yes, yes, yes, and yes. But it looked like so much fun, and I'm here to tell you after I stopped taking myself so seriously, it was a whole lot of fun. And was totally worth the side glances we both got.
So today, I went down again. One of three moms in the pool with forty on the sidelines. The only mom who has probably dared to water slide this year. I made a big splash. Water went up my nose. Makeup ran all over my face, and my hair matted against my head.
I am sure I looked ridiculous when I got out to stand in line again with the kids waiting their turn, but the cheers from my husband and kids made me want to do it again.
This summer instead of sitting on the sidelines, I encourage you to try jumping, diving, or sliding in. You've got the suit on, now go have some real fun!