I exist in this world, in my head, where I truly try to give people the benefit of the doubt and when I hear stuff like that it shocks me. Until that day in my high school hallway, it never occurred to me that this group of boys held the same opinions about summertime that the vast majority of men in this world do. Mind you, this group was the same few who stole the metric scales from our science classes so they could more accurately weigh and sell cocaine at school. That was another shocking discovery by me... The joys of the upper middle class spoiled suburbia.
But summertime...I live in the Houston area and while we never get cold here, I notice the increase of flesh as we approach the hot pool days that summer brings. I dread this increase. While I'm a faithful, heterosexual woman, I cannot help but notice the uncovered bodies of my peers. There's something there, good or bad looking, I must look. Like a car accident. What is this? I am very visual sensitive and try very hard not to include anything in my life that displays nudity or sexual images, so maybe this looking stems from that. It's shocking to me what people wear and do not wear.
This summer I will have the joy and pleasure of escorting FIVE children alone to the pool daily. FIVE! Three are water safe, one is a toddling toddler and one will be a little nugget. Needless to say I will mostly be on toddler duty this summer. While this occurred to me I visualized my self bending down and picking up Eryx time after time while the group of other pool goers got a free show of all my goods. Let's face it, no bathing suit is modest. There are some that cover more, but as a Mormon, my bathing suit shows WAY more skin than my under ware does. I dress so modestly day in and day out. I wear layer upon layer of clothes so my Temple is kept private to the invited "viewer" only. Yet when summer hits, all bets are off and we chuck modesty out the window.
In our church we are STRONGLY encouraged to wear a one-piece swim suit. We are taught modesty from a very small age. Some mothers don't put their daughters in tank tops or strapped cami's. Bikini's are out even for the little underdeveloped body. There's so much gospel truth behind these recommendations, I can't even begin to go into it, just know I have a testimony of it. Now there of course are women in our church that do wear bikinis, as there are people who pick and choose from all of our church standards which one is right and wrong for them. I don't judge, I just know better and am thankful for my testimony and integrity.
So while contemplating all this mess last night I hopped on the computer and started searching out some modest swim suits. I will have just had a baby so I don't think my normal suits will fit me very well. I considered spending the summer in my maternity suits because they are more flowing around the waist and are actually really cute. I started to remember all of the feelings associated with wearing a bathing suit. The constant need to make sure that I am "covered". The eyes of my friends and strangers on my flesh. It happens...some eyes more than others. The basic uneasiness with being half naked in the world. Now don't get me wrong, I am the queen of self confidence. According to me...I look darn good in a bathing suit. I love my body, I work hard on my body, and I think I look really great. And when you consider how many kids I have...even better. My concern is not a self conscious one. I just feel naked, and vulnerable in a bathing suit. I don't like men being able to see my private curves and crevices. They look, they notice, I catch them. I catch myself looking at others. So WHY? Why is it ok to be naked at the pool. I'm bugged.
While on my search, I stumbled across a website that has very modest swim suits. I'm talking total coverage. They varied though from a wrist to ankle version to a knee and covered shoulder version. I stopped. I considered. There were a few that I would actually wear. I would be covered and feel very comfortable doing my mommy pool side duties. No cracks or crevices would be seen. But I hesitated. I wondered how people would look at me. I usually embrace being the different one. I like to think out of the box, but this world is cruel. So I weighed...myself or my fear of public judgement. I called the kids in and asked them their opinions of the suits, and Mia actually thought they were for her and wanted one. I asked Zander if he would be embarrassed to have me wear a suit like that at the pool. He laughed, and I kid you not, said that he would be far more embarrassed if his mom were wearing a bikini and her boobs were hanging out....I love my kids!! Below is one of the ones I considered...any opinions? They are all made of swim suit material and come in other colors and styles. I'm not an extremist here, but I just know...
Now the model is waif thin, this I know. But I think I'm going to go for it. Chris has been listening to me go on and on about this topic all day and is very much for the suit. After all, what does he care, he gets all of me all of the time. But I can't help wondering a bit what the poolside reaction will be. I'm already that strange Mormon mother of a crap ton of kids. We don't do sleepovers, we don't play certain video games, we don't do anything on Sunday, and now I show up like this...do I care? Maybe a little...sometimes, usually no. But I simply cannot figure out for the life of me why we preach to our daughters no above the knee shorts or skirts and then we buy them bathing suits that show butt cheeks. I teach my daughters that we don't expose our shoulders, but then I put them in a strappy swim top. Where is the disconnect? I'd love to hear any opinions Mormon or not!!