I can count on one hand the number of times I wore a bathing suit over the summer of 2014. I’m talking 100 warm days, months sitting by the pool daily as Ayva took swimming lessons, and a vacation in Orlando, and I spent most of that time covered up in long skirts and maxi dresses.
That was one hot summer.
Over the last decade, I’ve had a love/hate/appreciate/indifferent relationship with my body. In my twenties, I loved the way I looked, even if I did think my breasts were too small. My long, thin legs and burgeoning booty made up for the lack of boobs, and I could often be found prancing around in mini skirts and skin tight dresses. That was kind of my thing. As I got older and my body started to fill out, I began to feel less comfortable in those tiny outfits and struggled to find a style that made me feel feminine without being overexposed. My body wasn’t quite curvy enough for the sexy but mature outfits that an almost 30-year-old would look good in, but the lightweight, cheap outfits that did fit my body type were much better suited for girls who were years younger than me.
When I got pregnant and then when I started nursing, I gained an appreciation of how useful my body was. Instead of worrying about how small my breasts were, I was thankful that they produced enough milk to satisfy my baby girl several times every single day for 19 months. Once I stopped nursing, though, the body appreciation waned and the last few years have been spent trying to regain my love for it.
You Look Hot With All of Those Clothes On
Everything came to a head this summer. That nursing 19-month-old is now a sophisticated first grader, and while on vacation in Hawaii basically told me to get over the discomfort and get my butt into a bathing suit. See, I was planning to do the same thing that I did last year, watching everyone else frolicking around and having fun while I stayed covered up on the sidelines. Fortunately for me, Ayva wasn’t having it. After driving nearly 2 hours to visit a special beach, I got nice and comfortable on the sand all bundled up in my maxi dress. Ayva took one look at me and said, “You look hot with all of those clothes on and you’re making me hot. You look great in your bathing suit, Mom. Take that dress off so you can get in the water with me.”
I don’t know if it was the declaration that I looked hot or the “with me” that hit me, but I realized I needed to get it together. After all, I had once prayed for the very same thick thighs and ample bottom that I was hiding under ridiculous layers of clothing. My daughter thought I looked great. My husband thought I looked great. What was stopping me from feeling like I looked great?
Looking back at pictures from our vacation, I looked fine. In fact, I’d even go as far to say as I looked cute! And to think, I spent the entirety of the previous summer burning up and all I had to do was look in the mirror.
So, I’m already shopping for bathing suits for next summer, and who knows, maybe I’ll have a chance to sport one even before then. I also wore a short skirt yesterday, and I bought a sexy, tight dress to wear out with Terrence to an event we’re going to soon. This isn’t the same body that I used to show off in mini skirts, and it no longer provides nourishment to Ayva, but it still serves a purpose for me. It’s still a really good body, and there’s no need for me to hide it.