I slipped into my Mom-skirt-tankini-getup and swam in a pool where countless children have urinated. I was more nervous about the bathing suit. It was “Family Swim” at my daughter’s pre-school. The children look forward to this day for weeks. Meanwhile, mothers are plotting their escape. They will lie, cheat, bribe, essentially do whatever it takes to avoid getting in that water in front of an audience. I actually convinced my daughter once, after a single sneeze, that she may be getting sick and needed to skip school and “Family Swim.” It was, of course, a miracle when she felt better minutes later.
Some Moms recruited male family members to take the plunge. I had my own father on speed dial. He was willing to do it. Then, my daughter asked a question that sent chills down my spine, “Mommy, am I skinny?” She is 4-years-old. Did she overhear me grumbling to my husband about putting on a bathing suit? Am I causing my daughter to have a distorted body image before she can even read. I exercise on a regular basis, but explain that Mommy wants a strong heart and muscles. You never know when you will have to throw down to get a discounted Barbie on Black Friday. I don’t want her to know I am running off the donut and slice of pizza I devoured hours earlier because I lack self control. Nor do I want her to know that I loathe full length mirrors. My daughter needs to believe that beauty is not defined by how much you weigh no matter what is plastered on TV or in magazines. I want her to have confidence whether shopping in the petite section or at a plus size store.
So, I decided not to make excuses and participate in “Family Swim.” There were about five of us who paraded out of the locker room. It was just like the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show minus the sexy suits and perky breasts. We had more cottage cheese than a senior center refrigerator. We also showed the little girls in that pool it’s okay to
wear a skirt and call it a bathing suit be different sizes.