Friday, June 2, 2017

Zero Fox Given

This past week we had a lot of exciting things happen.  To name a couple, my oldest son graduated from 8th grade.  Next, the pool opened, and it was also the first time I had worn a bathing suit since turning 40. Sure,  the first one is a milestone.  But I have to feel like the second one is too, except nobody throws you a party.

Here is the deal,  no matter how much you workout, it is still a little weird stepping out into public exposing yourself legally.  Especially in a climate that certain areas of your body don't see the light of day except two months out of the year.

Don and I had planned on going on a trip to Antigua, but his mom got sick, and he was needed there.  I had purchased two very little bikinis for the trip that are totally acceptable in a place like Antigua, and a place where you don't know anybody. But now I have these unworn bikinis that I'm thinking about wearing to our country club, where I know everybody and my son's teenage friends will be joining us.

When I turned 40 my singular goal was to live as authentically and true to myself as possible.  Basically, to give 0 fucks. But I guess I hadn't thought about this part of my authenticity. And if I'm going, to be honest, I give a lot of fucks. Or as I say in front of the boys, as not to cuss "Zero Fox".  I can't help it. I care so much about everything and everyone.  Including my son's feeling about me wearing a skimpy bikini in front of his friends.  Teen boys are awkward anyway, then you add a teen boy with a mom who is practically naked standing in front of them, all the fucks I'm not supposed to give are out on the table for everyone to see.

But I really like this bikini. It has pineapples on it.  When I purchased it, I pictured myself on a white sand beach lounging in the sun, and the only question I had to answer was " What kind of drink would you like?"  Now, I will be sitting on white cement, and the only question I will be hearing is " Will you fix my goggles?" and " Watch this!" (Over and over and over and over).

So, if only once, I decided to wear my bikini and try giving zero Fox as to what anyone thought, including my sons.   I went to my room and I put it on.  Why can't swimsuits fit like underwear?  They never do.  I walked over to the mirror and didn't open my eyes.
I could hear the gang of boys starting to get impatiant behind the door. Including Don.  They had put their suits on in  4 seconds and couldn't understand why it was taking me so long. But I was having an internal debate that was going on longer than I had anticipated.

I opened my eyes. I saw a 40-year-old woman in a pineapple bikini.  I started to tell myself that it was appropriate because Sponge Bob lives in a pineapple and I looked just like him right now.  Spongy torso and stretch marks and  "STOP" I told myself.

I could hear the people (who gave me the stretch marks that I  loath), chanting my name outside the door.  " Let's go!"

I was holding up my family for a fun day because of all the foxes I was giving.  Screw it, I thought. Here we go.

We arrived at the pool and I took off my cover-up and revealed my beach...I mean, pool body.  I stood half naked in public, and
nobody cared. Not a single person even looked in my direction.
Don was already asleep in his chair, and the boys were jumping off the diving board.

The boys didn't even notice as they came up to me and asked me if they could order shakes. To them, I'm just mom.  When Don finally woke up, he said, " Is that suit new?"  "Yes." I said.  He then takes out his phone to take a picture of me.  And not at the good angle. The angle that is from below and too close and why the hell does he think this is a good time to take a picture of me?!

And then something hit me.  A woman who I just met, who I admire and who will be performing in the next Mamalogues told a story about just taking the picture.  To get over your hang ups, and just allow a normal, everyday picture to be taken.  A picture that is real and authentic (damn it, that's my 40 year old goal) and that when the boys see it some day, it will be exactly like they remember.

I have a photo of my mom like that.  I love it; she is in a bikini laying out in the sun and I'm wearing one too right next to her. She looks like she is giving zero fox and damn it, here I am in the exact same situation and I'm freaking out about sponge bob and stretch marks.  Did I ever look at my mom and think....eew? No. I just remember her spending time with me hanging out in the sun. (In the glorious 1980's on a silver tanning blanket without sunscreen I might add.)

I want to be that woman.   So, I agreed, he could take the picture as long as he didn't post it on any social media platform.  He did, just like my Dad had done, he took the picture of my mom and me.

The day ended and not a single one of my boys said anything about my bikini.  I even got a little sun and had fun.

When I looked at the picture Don had taken, I saw what he saw. Not a self-conscious Mommy.   It was Oscar proudly standing behind me with his goggles on, a shake in one hand and the other on my shoulder.  Not giving a thought in the world other than summer and ice cream.

And with that.  I began my quest for a summer with zero foxes.

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