Last week, my mom and sisters came to town and went swimming with me after I was finished with my work day. I love hanging out with them. My sisters and I still fight sometimes, but they are becoming some of my very best friends.
After getting to the pool, we found a grassy area to camp out and chow down on some melted Chick-fil-a cookies. After the cookies were devoured and our hands were somewhat smeared with chocolate, we all hopped in the cool, refreshing water of the pool.
I've seen so many articles floating around the internet lately about how moms should get in the water and play with their kids and stop worrying about what they look like in their bathing suit. It's such a weird concept to me that some women are so self-conscious that they stop themselves from having fun. My heart breaks for women who deal with these body issues or insecurities. I mean, we're all human. We all have insecurities with our bodies time and time again (at least I know I do). I mean, swimsuits sort of fit my body weird. Let's be honest. Swimsuit tops don't always fit so well when you have broad football-player shoulders paired with the world's flattest chest. But you know what? It's fine. I've come to realize the only person who notices that is me. People have other things, more important things, to be concerned with than what I look like in my swimsuit. And so I swim.
I think the biggest reason the whole "Moms Get in the Pool" phenomenon is foreign to me is because of the mom who raised me.
My mom. Oh my gosh. She is so much fun. She's the first one in the pool. She's the first one to try anything that seems the least bit intimidating. Growing up, my dad worked a lot and wouldn't always be able to go on vacations. That didn't stop my fearless mom though. She would plan the vacations and take her four kids on adventures by herself. She will take her ranger on joy rides through the mountains, zooming up rocky terrain or speeding through mud puddles.
I'm sure my mom has insecurities, or has had moments where she feels she's not good enough or not pretty enough (we all do), but those are not the moments I've been exposed to. I believe I grew up not thinking about what I looked like in my swimsuit because I grew up with a mom who never spoke aloud of what she thought about herself in a swimsuit. Rather, I grew up with a mom who swam and played in a swimsuit.
One day, when I become a mother myself, I hope that I can teach my children to play and explore and learn and laugh, like my own mother taught me. I hope I can teach them to have confidence in themselves. I hope I can teach them that they are capable of doing anything they set their minds to. I hope I can teach them to be kind (oh, how I hope they will always be kind). I hope I can teach them to contribute good to the world, making it a better place for those around them.
And I know the only way I can teach my own children any of this is by showing them. I need to be a mom who plays, a mom who explores, a mom who never wants to stop learning, a mom who believes in myself, a mom who believes in others. The best way to teach them will be by example, just as my mom taught me.
I'm so thankful to have a mom who plays (and a mother-in-law too, you should see that woman on the slopes).
And I'm so glad I snapped these photos on my waterproof camera. We look pretty happy with wet hair and makeup-free faces. I'm looking forward to more summer days filled with playing.