To The Twenty-Something In A Thong Bikini

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Hi there. I’m a homeschool mom. I haven’t quite gone over to the denim jumper side, but I’m pretty modest. I think it’s more a mom thing than a homeschool mom thing. I only bring up clothes because I took my kids to the water park the other day to commemorate the end of summer, and take advantage of the short lines, since public school started backup. While we were there I noticed my kids snickering at something, and following their gaze I saw you. I saw a lot of you.

Oh. My. Gosh. Becky!

I have to admit my first instinct was to put on my McJudgy britches and look down my nose at your complete lack of modesty, or at least join my children in giggling at your naked buttocks. And I also have to admit that if you had been Brazilian Butt Lift perfect, or airbrushed clean of any hint of cellulite, I probably wouldn’t have resisted the urge to scoff at you. That is a failure of my character, and I’m working on it.

But you weren’t bikini model perfect. Don’t get me wrong. You have a better body than my mirror has seen in the last decade. Still, I could tell you don’t deny yourself the occasional carbohydrate. Maybe your desk job has taken a little toll on your figure. But there you were. Wearing whatever-the-heck you wanted, and not worrying about a few extra pounds. You were laughing and splashing with your friends. I even saw you eat ice cream, and you didn’t seem worried about it.

You were so confident!

Now I have never been one to let my weight dictate how much fun I’m going to have. Life is too short for that. So I’ll jiggle my thighs all around the water park, plop down in the wading pool with my two year old, and eat the damn ice cream too. But I do think it bears mentioning that I do this while brushing aside worries about how I look and wearing a bathing suit that is basically a dress with a built in girdle.

Physically that bathing suit is not what I would call comfort wear. It actually feels a bit like steel-plated armor. But it is emotionally comfortable. I don’t know if that’s a good thing.

I remember being you.

I remember a trip to Hawaii, in my late twenties. We didn’t have kids yet, but I had put on weight and certainly wasn’t an airbrushed looking 19 year old anymore. But I wasn’t going to go to Hawaii and NOT wear a bikini! In fact I bought two new ones just for the trip. I wore them pretty much the whole time. I climbed up a waterfall confident of my body in a stringy blue slingshot I called a bathing suit.

Where is that girl? I haven’t seen, or even thought about her in ages.

She got buried in mundane tasks, and heavy decisions, and big ol’ cotton granny panties.

You reminded me of her.

Of myself.

A self I need to find again.

So I want to thank you. Thank you for reminding me that, while I’m doing okay in the fun department, I need to be a little kinder to myself in the confidence department.

Motherhood has changed my modesty settings. I’ll probably never wear a bikini again. But I am definitely going to loosen the ratchet straps on the girdle of my soul.

All because you wore a thong bikini to the water park.

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