Summer: A Mom’s Perspective

I used to love them. I really did. Could hardly wait to visit one every summer, spending happy hours of childhood having the time of my life.

However, when I became a mother, for some reason I no longer had a loving place in my heart reserved for…

THE WATER PARK

Not that I hate it. They can still be fun, it’s just that now that I’m older and have three people dependent on me for life and safety it’s just not quite the same. There are several reasons the water park lost my heart.

Reason one: (well, this one has three parts, actually)

These three.

They ADORE water parks. The splashing, the fun, the thrill of the slides. I adore watching them having such a great time and hearing their giggles and shrieks of delight.

What I don’t adore so much? The constant worrying and watching them like a hawk to make sure they’re not drowning or being toted off by a stranger or trying a new daredevil trick they really don’t have the swimming skills for in the first place.

This one?

I don’t worry about her too much now that she’s older. Still like to know where she is at all times, though.

This one?

Somewhat concerning. She seems to think her swimming talents far exceed her actual ability. She’s dangerous.

But THIS one?

Downright terrifying for multiple reasons:
1.) she can’t swim a lick
2.) she’s 100% dependent on this life jacket, which she does not particularly enjoy wearing and has been known to rip off when I’m not looking
3.) she can disappear faster than M&Ms at my house
4.) she has NO fear

This is a picture of her going down the age appropriate waterslide in the “baby pool” area.

You can see it was not quite up to snuff for her. In fact, she pretty much hated it, as clearly demonstrated by her expression.

Really, Mom? I am almost four years old. This is ridiculous.

In fact, she was not satisfied until, with great reservations, I allowed her to go down the big water slides. Thankfully for her she JUST barely made the 42″ height requirement.

Just look at her! Have you ever seen a happier kid?

But by far…and I mean FAR, FAR, FAR…the thing I hate most about water parks is…

THE MOM BATHING SUIT

You know the one. The one that says, “I was designed specifically for the woman who’s been blessed enough to bear multiple children and has never quite recovered. I am expected to work miracles.”

This year, I searched and found this little number:

What? Did you really think I was going to put a picture of myself actually WEARING this thing?

Now, a mom bathing suit has many requirements.

It can’t be too low cut. After all, we’ll practically be doing acrobatics saving our children from death every ten seconds or so. Have you ever seen a mom at the pool running full speed to catch a wandering toddler? It’s always easy to spot the mother who clearly didn’t think her swimsuit choice through very well. Unfortunate, actually.

Next, it can’t be too high cut. Each pregnancy blessed me with a few extra ripples and signature love handles on the old hips which no amount of strategic exercises can get rid of. And as well all know, mothers spend most of their time bending over or chasing children. Full coverage is a must for the sake of everyone in the vicinity.

Third, a mom bathing suit must somehow send multiple messages at the same time. We want something that says, “I am aware that I am no longer a teenager and have chosen this suit accordingly.”

But it also must say, “However, I am not yet a geriatric and have not succumbed to huge floral prints on a one piece with heavy duty shoulder straps and a skirt. I do not yet need Depends or denture cream.”

So you see, a swimsuit for a mother must pretty much be Divinely designed by our Creator in order to meet all these standards. And since that’s not gonna happen, we just have to do the best we can to find something suitable.

[pullquote type=”2″ align=”right”]Good luck out there this summer, mamas. Next time you wear a mom bathing suit, just remind yourself that just about every mother you’ll see at the pool feels exactly the same way you do.[/pullquote]I’ll leave you with the mental picture of me, lugging a round float up a zillion steps to the top of the water slide tower, trying to figure out how on earth I let my children guilt me into this. I looked down, way down, to see all the other mothers from our softball party doing what mothers are SUPPOSED to do: sitting together in comfy chairs and watching from a distance.

No matter…I am being a good mother and spending quality time doing something the kids love. So there.

I arrived at the top of the tower, chose was I was told was the slowest slide, and carefully placed my float at the top and painstakingly sat down. I waited for the 98-lb. teenage lifeguard to give me permission, then I pushed myself down the slide.

It was the most terrifying 30 seconds of my life. It’s not that the slide was all that scary, actually. It was just your standard water slide with loops and twists and water spraying in your face. The terrifying part was what I knew I was speeding towards where the slide would spit me out.

All the daddies and coaches of my daughter’s little league team were standing together at the bottom of the slides, cheering and watching as the little girls came to the bottom and were thrown into the pool. And to make it just a little more agonizing, one of the daddies had a mega camera with a huge lens and was snapping pictures of everyone in our party.

Water slides have very strong jets. Sometimes these jets are not so kind to bathing suit placement. I could just see myself being spit out into that stupid pool and showing more than anyone besides a doctor should ever have to see. I tugged and pulled on that mom bathing suit all the way down the slide. It was miserable.

I am relieved beyond description to tell you that my new bathing suit held up and did its job. Against all odds, it stayed just where it was supposed to be and spared me from having to force my entire family to move across the country to run from what would’ve been the single most humiliating moment of my life.

Good luck out there this summer, mamas. Next time you wear a mom bathing suit, just remind yourself that just about every mother you’ll see at the pool feels exactly the same way you do. Of course there are always the women who look fantastic in teeny, tiny bikinis and have a baby on their hip, glistening in the sun. But don’t worry, in their next life they’ll probably be cows.

And do NOT let your kids guilt you into the water slides. Bribe them with ice cream, a new car, whatever it takes. Be strong…but pray that your mom suit is stronger.

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