In the summer, it happens outside, but the basics are still the same. The men gather around the grill while the women stay at the picnic table watching the kids who are usually playing or swimming. Throw in a swimming pool, and the transformation in the men is amazing…they not only get in touch with their inner child, but they pull him out to full exposure for all to see and delight in. The water makes it possible to throw their own child across the equivalent of a room, and this is not only acceptable but encouraged! A roaring mountain man will emerge from the water followed by squeals, gales of laughter and much splashing!
WAIT! Someone is missing. Where are all the moms? Here we are—sitting by the pool, laughing at the spectacle, yelling good-naturedly at the kid who just splashed us, and trying to remind the men that they aren’t 20 years old anymore. Why aren’t we in the water? I look down at myself, and the answer’s pretty simple. The thought of squishing this white bulging body into a swimsuit brings on burning cheeks and a sigh of shame. I love the water; I used to be pretty lithe in the water. Health issues along with a lot of extra weight make me feel I’m nothing more than a beached whale, and the thought of joining the kids in the water is almost horrifying.
But those thoughts are wreaking havoc with my priorities! The attention is on ME, what others think of me, and what I think of me. It focuses on what I LOOK like, not who I am. It negates the positive and emphasizes the negative, focusing on what I can’t do rather than what I can. The days slip by one after another and kids grow up. I am missing out on precious time with them, time that they beg for and WANT…all because of my narrow-minded fear of the shallow things in life.
Okay, God, I get it. And I hope you as the reader do, too. Now, go read someone else’s blog. I’m going swimming with my kids… CANNONBALL!