In the morning super rush-I quickly threw on workout clothes. Very very soft running shorts (from a sale bin, this will be important later) and loose t-shirt. I was in a hurry as usual-I was off to drive kids around, then go running. All of us suburby moms look like this, the new morning rush uniform.
I dropped off Kiddos 1 and 2. Salsie and May at school, where luckily I stay in the car. Then, I had to drop kiddo 3, who calls herself Sauncy, at preschool, where I do have to get out of the car. Eyewitness point number 1. Then I went for a run- starting pretty much up and down the main street, past the 'gated' part of my development, right by several construction sights, then in front of the golf club. Eyewitness locations 2-20. Where I finally ended at the park to set kiddo 4, Willsie, free from stroller jail. Eyewitness location number 21.
At the park, trying to cool down in 90 degree, 100 percent humidity, dripping with sweat, I met a lovely abuela named Pilar playing with her granddaughter Claudia. She spoke mostly Spanish and I spoke mostly English. She decided as we played that she would refresh my Spanish speaking abilities. (Forget those 6 years in school-IQ points remember.) We had a great time, she did not mind my sweat, and we taught each other new words and phrases. She told me about Lima, Peru, her home. Her three children, the daughter who lives and works here, is an architect (thought Julie would appreciate that). I taught her the difference between the word workaholic and alcoholic. We compared 2 year old monkey business and both agreed that we loved nap time and bed time. She told me good job for running, she swims in the ocean every day, but can't here, and misses it. We had one of the better park experiences I have ever had. She and I were both happy to have someone else besides a 2 year old to share a conversation. Preschool for Sauncy was over, we parted ways, the kids waving and blowing kisses (yes-Willsie blows kisses, he has 3 big sisters) and said our goodbyes.
I arrived at the preschool class and we were happily (well, mostly happily) on our way home. Lunch, nap, huge prayer that nap sticks, and tiptoeing down the stairs, you know the routine-I finally was off to the shower, to relieve the world from my stink.
This is when I caught a glimpse of my bum in the full length mirror. This is normally a spot I try to avoid checking or drawing attention to, I'm sure you understand. But, I had to stop to look, did I mention the shorts were white with blue trim (must be the reason they were in the sale bin-everyone else knew better)? The discovery I made was ginormous (this word is in the dictionary now) in a couple of ways. There were words showing right through the shorts that declared 'BEACH BUM' very clearly.
All I could think was-at least I didn't wear 'Responds well to Compliments' or 'A Lady Never Sweats'- yea right (yes these are real, I couldn't make up bum slogans like this). I didn't even think about it when I dressed myself, I mean-hey the panties were white everywhere else.
About ten years ago, I probably would have died and worried about who saw me, where I had been, and how embarrassed I was. I mean-what a dork. It has been a struggle my whole life to be at a point where other people's opinions and perceived thoughts are not completely encompassing me. Let's be honest, I am a huge worrier. This is where age and wisdom come into play .
That day though, I thought, (and you have to know how BIG this is for me)-who cares. You must ask anyone that knows me and they will tell you there is not a chance in the world that I ever said or thought this.
That day, instead, I thought about my encounter with Pilar. And how she was happy to just have a friend at the park. She didn't care what my bum said, that I smelled, that we were different ages, or spoke different languages. We just appreciated each other.
I have to learn to appreciate and be happy with my opinion of myself. Every day it's a very tenuous balance with me. I weigh my good with my bad and hope like crazy that they at least balance out.
That day, they did. And I made a friend with Pilar. A friend with my bum. And a friend with myself.
It's funny the little things that bring you perspective.
Now go have a piece of chocolate and glass of wine! And wear crazy panties with see-through clothes!
A message from Julie, from Beyond the Vacation: It's Perfect Post Award time and I found one! Miguelina wrote A Work in Progress which is one of the best mom manifestos I've read. Way to go, Miguelina, thanks for such a perfect post! Check Petroville and Suburban Turmoil for the rest of the Perfect Posts from September!