A Normal Day at the Pool


There’s a drawer in my dresser that’s really hard to open. It takes all of my strength – and much prayer – to pull it.

It’s the second one from the bottom. It’s the first one with two brass handles instead of one. It’s my swimsuit drawer.

This year was especially difficult. Due to my newly diagnosed hypothyroidism, too little exercise, and maybe a few extra beers and burgers, I’ve gained some weight. My middle’s round and protruding, my breasts aren’t. The veins in my legs have risen to a whole new level of artistic expression. My thighs have gone from small curd to large curd. And my upper arms haven’t stopped flapping since I waved goodbye to last summer…

So, with each turn of the calendar and with each mercuric rise of the thermometer, I got more and more anxious. Maybe I can lose ten pounds before the end of the month. How long will that juicing diet take? Maybe public pools will be outlawed before the weekend…

But no. The life guard’s on the stand and my kids are waiting at the door with goggles in hand. Ready or not, it’s pool time. And I guess it’s a good thing that my love for my kids is bigger than my rear end – or I would never get that blasted drawer open or that high-quality nylon and spandex on.

This year – there was more love than usual, if you know what I mean.

After I insisted on carrying all the towels, swim bags, and several of my teenage children across the pool deck as a cover, I finally made it to my pool chair.

I had to admit, the sun felt good. Really good. My muscles started to relax and I considered taking off my sweatsuit  cover-up. While I thought about it, I looked around. The first thing I noticed was no one was looking at me. Huh. The second thing was no one looked perfect. Not one. We were all there in our pale flesh, humbled together in a beautifully chlorinated solidarity.

After a winter of comparing myself to TV stars and magazine covers, it was refreshing and encouraging to see real bodies with honest flaws. Suddenly, I started to feel different. I didn’t feel skinny. I didn’t feel proud enough to strut around with the teenage lifeguards, but I felt normal. A little too this and a little too that… just like everyone else.

The sweat started to trickle down my back and the water called my name, so I decided to go for it. I glanced around again, and sure enough, no one was interested in the drama of me wearing a swimsuit in public. Thank you, Lord. I pulled off my clothes, scooted to the edge of my deck chair and prayed one last time for Jesus to return…

Then, before I could think about it and after my kids dared me, I jumped into the pool like I was eight again.

We spent the remaining hours of the afternoon swimming, laughing, playing, and soaking in the sun. I even decided to do some pool-walking laps while my kids went to the concession stand. #humblebrag

And later, I floated on the reminders that I’m normal. And no one really cares.

Linking up with Livefree Thursday and Grace and Truth

6 thoughts on “A Normal Day at the Pool

  1. Michele Morin June 10, 2015 / 7:00 pm

    Love this.
    And the truth is that no one is looking at us, so let’s enjoy our kids, keep workin’ on the old bod, and have a great summer.
    Thanks for the light touch on a heavy subject!


  2. Ruthie Gray June 11, 2015 / 5:57 pm

    Absolutely hysterical. Small curd to large curd. Flappy arms. Artistic, veiny legs. I’ve got all that and then some. And then, I go to the beach and guess what – there are women there fatter than me in bikinis. And that rocks my world. Literally. My husband – not so much. But.
    I loved this. But then again, I love all your stuff! Thanks for sharing on #LiveFreeThursday!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. betsydecruz June 12, 2015 / 9:22 am

    I’m with Michele and Ruthie! And with you too! You’re such a great story-teller, Karen. Always enjoy your posts. So funny and true too. Praise God for you! And for our God who loves us even when the curd on our thighs goes from small to large.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Karen Brown June 12, 2015 / 1:05 pm

      Thanks, Betsy! Yes- Praise God for loving us no matter what! Enjoy the pool, friend! 🙂


  4. pourcettetemps June 12, 2015 / 9:05 pm

    oh thank you for this!!
    we just got a new pastry line at work that i’ve been loving and i jokingly said ‘It seems that voluptous is the new black this year’ cause that was what i felt might be the outcome of my indulgance. i also have a hard time getting my bathingsuit body out into public. thank you for your bravery adn reminder that there arent’ too many people interested in what we’re wearing they’ve got their own worries 😉


  5. Busy Being Blessed (@blestwithboys) June 19, 2015 / 3:53 am

    This was amazing. I LOL more times than I can count! You really do have a gift at words. 🙂
    Thanks for linking up with Grace & Truth this week!


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