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2:23 p.m. - 2012-07-09
bathing suit season
Best discovery of the summer: the municipal pool.

Didn't realize it existed last summer because Marley broke her leg and we didn't go anywhere.

The pool is at the playground closest to our house, the one we can walk to. Today was our first day. Verdict: Summer boredom problems solved. We need season passes.

I am self-conscious about bathing suits because I was a cutter for a very long time and my arms (and to a lesser extent my thighs and my stomach) are covered with scars. I wear long-sleeved shirts not all the time, but at work and anytime I'm around people whose opinion matters to me (usually when I'm with my kids, around other parents -- don't ask me why their opinion matters...)

Once I was at the pool, though, I realized that there's a whole lotta other things, besides scars, that a bathing suit doesn't cover. This is not Brazil, so the bathing suit-bod competition around the kiddie pool is pretty ... shallow. You can get a tan, and you can wear a mumu, but.... there is this conception among American women that if you have a baby, unless you have a Hollywood trainer and a personal chef, you're gonna gain weight permanently and the only thing to do is accept it. And if you have another kid, you gain more. Etc. At least, this seems to be what all the women's magazines imply. Certainly, this appears to be what women at my municipal pool believe.

I had two kids and lost the baby weight within a couple months each time; all I have to show for two pregnancies is a couple of stretch marks and two kids.

One of the lifeguards at the kiddy pool kept staring at me when he should have been starting at the kids. I was on the other side of the pool so I don't think he was staring at my scars.

He would have been hot if I was 15 years younger.

Now I will be less self-conscious about my arms. If I get a good tan I'll be fine. If someone asks me about my arms I won't ask something offensive about their weight like I would have done 10 years ago; I think I'll be confident enough to handle it with grace.



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