Swag Bucks

Saturday, May 30, 2015

swimsuit season won't break me this year.

As far back as I can remember, I've hated putting on a bathing suit.  Even without the hassle of sunscreen (hello bane of my existence) it always felt like torture trying to find a suit that didn't accentuate my belly roll or wide hips or thick limbs or unsightly body hair. (TMI? So sorry.).   But can we talk about how hard it is to have a good time at the beach/pool while constantly worrying about how you look?  Quite frankly its a bummer.

I've spent my springs failing at dieting and my summers trying to cover up my flaws.  I've spent my life criticizing myself, often out loud for anyone and everyone to hear.

And now I have a daughter.  A big daughter.  At 16 months she is already wearing size 2T and pushing the top of the weight charts.  She is perfect in my eyes, but I look forward 10 years from now and I can see so clearly how my little remarks about myself will have affected her so deeply.  She will be ashamed of her round belly and might even start turning down pool party invitations.  She will compare her own shape to those of her friends and think how much simpler everything would be if she could have just been blessed with the "thin" gene.  And my heart is breaking already for my future 11-year-old, knowing that try as I may, no words will ever convince her that she is beautiful, wonderful, perfect the way she is.

So it's time to break the cycle.

How do you break a 20-year-old (maybe even more than that) habit?  When did I start bullying myself?  And how do I stop?  Baby steps, perhaps.  Today I played in the backyard in my bathing suit (which for once in my life does NOT have a skirt because swimming in a skirted bathing suit is ridiculously annoying) feeling imperfect but free.  I splashed with my kids in our tiny pool and then spent a few blissful minutes basking on our swing.  Without a cover-up on.  Without making any comments (at least not out loud) about how much weight I desperately need to lose.  Baby steps.

And maybe, just maybe, my daughter will experience an adolescence where weight and self-esteem are not inversely proportional.

Can I protect her from society's insane demands on women to be thin, perfectly sculpted, flawlessly smooth?  No.  But I can certainly do my best to keep the self-judgment out of my house.

Wish me luck.

Friday, May 29, 2015

i can't find my phone.

My phone has gone missing, probably lost beneath a couch cushion or pile of dirty clothes or hiding amongst the hundreds of board books regularly scattered across the living room.

The dishes are piled up in the sink, half-rinsed and simply needing to be thrown in the dishwasher, but that of course sits full of clean dishes waiting to be put away.  If I could just find my phone ...

My kids are digging madly into a bag of pretzel goldfish, even after several friends posted the warning article "5 foods to never feed your children at all costs unless you want them to develop serious behavior problems or worse be morbidly obese by age six" and number one on the list was goldfish.  Does it make a difference that they are not the orange kind?  Now they are fighting over the last bunch of grapes so I suppose they will live.

We have big plans for the day: baby time at the library at 11:00.  The elder doesn't care that it's baby time because all he wants to do is play the Dora game on the computer there.  I don't mind; it's a half hour where I know he's not on the verge of breaking a bone or a window or another plastic toy.

I had something else to share here but am now distracted by the crazy dancing happening before me.  I forget where I was going with this.  Or was I ever going anywhere? Just to the library I guess.

Monday, May 25, 2015

days like today

We have lived in this little house for 10+ months now, but today our little house feels connected to our little neighborhood.

We went to the neighbor's for swimming and dinner last night, and saw them again at the parade this morning.  Friendly hellos like we'd been friends forever, and not just neighbors for a few short months.  Their kids, K (12) and E (15), excited to see our kids .. Maxwell barely able to contain his excitement at seeing them again.  

And afterwards, the 12yo boy came over to hangout while Maxwell ate his lunch in the backyard.  Soon a knock on the door brought three more kids ages 10-15 through the house, looking for K but then happily climbing in and out of the Step 2 playhouse in our yard, gangly sunburned legs and arms sticking out everywhere, everyone treating Max like a peer.  Then they were eating apples from my refrigerator and saying polite hellos to "Mr. Trevor" and laughing and playing and encouraging Max to finish his burger so he could come swim with them.

Now, "Mr. Trevor" and Maxwell swimming next door with the four older kids and the neighbor patriarch, part of the gang, while Molly naps and I get a chance to catch my breath.

What else is there to say? I love days like today.