Danger, danger

This morning was our first swimming lesson with Jessica – and by “our” I mean we decided that I would take her seeing as how Aaron has to work and all.
It went really well, I will admit that I was a little apprehensive about getting into a pool with 6 other moms and their mild mannered children to have everybody watch me flail with my child who LOVES the water. Who doesn’t care if she can’t swim, she’s going to try – hard. And there was a lot of splashing and screaming – and oh so exciting gibberish.
They all looked at me. Just looked. Like, I bet she’s already tired, or I hope her kids not THAT kid in this class – you know the one, the one that doesn’t listen and splashes and throws fits in the water or gets every body else’s kid really hyper.
FYI: Conservative mothers, Jessica is not that child. Thanks for looking.
She is the child who is better suited for the next age range class only because for some reason patting the water gently isn’t really in her vocabulary – running and jumping in is, however.
We did some new things and got her to lay on her back, which she hates doing in water – and we sang all her favorite songs while doing movement exercises. She pretty much loved swimming lessons. And I did too. It was fun to be with other mom’s and their kids in a pool and I loved the time we got to spend cuddling in the warm water.
Jessica is such a lover, she really is … she just doesn’t know how to love and be excited at the same time – but 20 minutes in a pool will calm that down and all she has left is the strength to kick and hold on – and suck on my shoulder like the infant she once was who was hungry for more than my skin.
I love swimming lessons people.
The locker room, however, is an entirely different story. We’re hearded like cattle into the room we’re all supposed to get naked in. We’ve got a child under 2 1/2, some have two, and we all look at each other like – are you going to do this? In front of everyone?
No one said anything, to me anyway – maybe a few classes into it I’ll feel comfortable enough to ask them about their naked squeamishness and we can swap horror stories, like the one time when we were at the pool and a woman was full out naked in the exposed shower – SHAVING you know, down there … I won’t go into more detail, but Jessica was like a deer in headlights.
I decided to screw it and just acted like I was at home, dressing from my shower. I matter of factly got Jessica ready and dried off then I went about my business with my business hanging out there – and I could see the other mothers looking, we all do it. Does she have stretch marks? Look at her butt! She did not have a child, look at her abs! I’m pretty sure they were thinking what the heck was wrong with my chest – they have scars that make them look like someone decided to pretend I was a cheese cake on the operating table. And my stretch marks, aren’t pink or purple, they’re white and pretty small and mostly around my belly button. But my ass – with the tattoo right above it – it’s like a scarlet letter to some of these women … “Oh, she’s one of those mothers.”
You know the type – the tattooed ones, the ones who had a life other than church youth group before having a family, the kind who aren’t afraid to try new things no matter that most of our tight little dutch culture would totally mark your forehead for it if they knew.
Pretty much, ladies. That’s me. And I was completely liberated by being naked among you while you all tried so hard not to look.

4 thoughts on “Danger, danger

  1. i know a pastor who has 4 tattoos. (i wake up next to him every morning) somehow he is a member of the dutch community. some people know, some don’t. if they mark his (or your) forehead, i’ve got some words for those people (they are from the Bible) about love, acceptance, and a little lesson on who Jesus was friends with. Our little dutch community has a lot to learn, and a long way to go! (myself included) I know of no other community i have ever been a part of that is more judgmental than our little place we call home. somehow i think Jesus would be ashamed that we are calling ourselves his followers…
    good for you for stepping outside the lines. someone has to!

  2. I am happy to hear someone had a similiar aquatic center experience. I took Tara at 11 months for the first time and she tried to pry my hands off her screaming all the while. She yelled and laughed during the songs and splashed the other babies laughing…..she also ran naked through the locker room while I was dressing as all the moms just watched. I LOVED every minute, because Tara loved every minute of it, we did two more sessions before we moved and I had to learn to stop worrying about those onlookers and enjoy the flailing wet baby in my arms with the huge grin. Love you erin..glad your having fun

  3. Erin, I would have LOVED to go through swimming lessons with you and Tara! That would have been great. We could have laughed through it all together 🙂
    And Tracy, I completely agree with Holland’s closeminded approach to most of todays hot topics. Grandted I’ve lived in Holland longer than any other place we’ve lived but before Michigan we moved every 4 years, some times sooner and this is by far the smallest thinking community. I’m here to stay though, and change some minds. I’m all about making Holland a better place to live.

  4. there are a few dutch, conservative grandmas who know how to shake it in the locker rooms. in 7th grade i was on the girls swim team and was in the locker room changing when all of a sudden my grandma came prancing into the changing area…butt naked. she slapped my butt as she went shuffling by with her ‘waterlily’ friends. i think my little girlfriends eyes were popping out of their heads and i wanted to crawl into a hole. i was horrified by the sight. but now that i look back on it…i really hope that i can be that crazy grandma who doesn’t give 2 hoots about funky, wrinkly, saggy, discolored, disoriented body parts. i think you should bust into a good naked dance next time to show those moms what’s up. heck, in college, we kept all the conservative women away by soaping up the shower floor and sliding around.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *