Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Summer's Almost Here

I think I'm going to write shorter and more frequent posts. It's fun for me to go through old posts and see what was going on in, say, September 2007 or how I was feeling around Christmas 2008. But sometimes I feel daunted when I sit down to post--shouldn't I have something to say?

Here's what I have to say today: School is almost out. It really winds down Friday, when a long string of half days begins (plus a three-day weekend). What I love about summer: sleeping in, not having to run around all day driving kids to and from school. What drives me crazy about summer: never having a minute alone in the house. Oh, and heat and humidity and having to bare practically all at the swimming pool.

It seems strange to me that we're expected to put ourselves on display from June through August. I'm a fairly modest person--we do not have one of those naked households where everyone is very nonchalant about walking around without clothes--and it is almost impossible to feel modest in swimsuit. Or thin. Even thin people don't feel thin.

And then there are the saggy knees and the spider veins. Why must I share?

Of course, at the ripe old age of 46 minus five days, I'm aware that I'm largely invisible. It's one of the interesting, somewhat liberating, someone dismaying things about getting older. Unless you really work at it, and some women do, just not me, you're really not the center of much attention. And as someone who has never liked being looked at, I don't mind too terribly much. It's interesting to walk around a crowd feeling invisible. You don't worry so much about how you look, because no one really sees you.

I was brought up to be conscious of the world looking at me. I was brought up to believe that being pretty was important. I was also brought to believe that being smart and good were also important, I should say. But being pretty was definitely up there on the list of Important Things Girls Should Devote Themselves To.

It would be nice to let that go, at least a little bit.

And it would be nice to wear a swim suit that didn't expose the parts of me I spend the rest of the year strategically trying to minimize.

Maybe one of the nicest things about summer is watching my children in their swimsuits. They don't give one thought to how they look. They just play and enjoy the feel of the hot sun and the cool water.

It must be nice.


Angela said...

How long do you people have for your summer holidays? We have 6 weeks starting mid July - so we have another 7 weeks to go [but next week is our mid term holiday]

It is quite hot here in the UK - some people [who really shouldn't]have started stripping off and wearing awful skimpy tops and too tight shorts and already displaying burned red shoulders and white flabby thighs.

Oh the joy of childhood when you could wear your cossie and enjoy the sun without being self conscious!

debbie bailey said...

I haven't worn a bathing suit in close to twenty years. I think I'd only feel comfortable in one of those striped numbers women used to wear in the early 20th century. Wouldn't that be a sight?

Pom Pom said...

I love to see humble, big swim suited women at the pool, having fun. It gives me great peace. Who really cares anyway? Let them show their flab and their spotty skin all they want. I want a large, bright suit and I wanna swim and not worry about getting out of the pool. It must look so silly when we slink back to our towels. I grew up in a very body critical family, too. Those voices weren't kind, so I'm working on drowning them out. Yes, post lots! I love your good words.

Tracy said...

We will be having two summers this year ~ one with my BIL's family in the middle of the year....and our regular end-of-year one. I feel your swimming pain. My answer to being too modest for regular bathers is to wear women's board shorts for bathers and a slimming suck-everything-in bathers top. It works for me.

Gumbo Lily said...

At home, in the country, I wear my shorts and tank tops. I need the sun and intend to soak in every drop of summer sunshine I can. I am not conscious of it at home.....much, but I don't like sporting a swimming suit away from my stock pond.

Check out this art from Beth Carver....I want to grow old like these bathing beauties!


Sandy H said...

I second the board shorts thing--I have a tankini top and board shorts. Helps with the body-consciousness. I also agree with grieving the loss of my house. Working from home means I get used to a certain quiet and routine so I can Get Things Done. Summer hits--and sometimes I miss Getting Things Done. Sometimes I enjoy hanging out in the pool with my kids. It's a toss-up. (But I have until the end of June before I have to adjust!)

Left-Handed Housewife said...

Angela, At Our Fine School, they have roughly 11 weeks of summer vacation.

I'm always interested by people who disrobe so casually and are perfectly happy to appear in public wearing hardly anything at all, aesthetic considerations aside. You'll see obese women at the beach in bikinis, and I never know whether to applaud their confidence and self-acceptance or wonder if they don't really see themselves in the mirror.

Debbie, the minute I don't have to hang out with my kids at the pool, the swim suit goes! Well, there's the beach. Hmmm ... maybe I should just take Pom Pom's attitude (see her comment below yours).

Pom Pom, You ought to check out the link Jody sent. The paintings are joyous!

Tracy, What are board shorts? Like biking shorts?

Jody, I wish I had a pond to swim in. That's it, I'm moving in with you. I've threatened to before, but now I really mean it.

I loved the Beth Carver paintings! They're really lovely.

Sandy, I try to weigh out not having my house to myself with not having to get up at the crack of dawn. It's a toss up, really. I'm hoping this will be the summer the boys really start sleeping in (Jack already does) so I can take advantage of quiet morning hours. Thanks for stopping by!