Sunday, August 26, 2007

Confessions from the Pool

Through a series of events this week, I have come to realize that I care too much what other people think about me. Interestingly, when it comes to the "big" things, I am bold and courageous. I will defend my faith. I will not compromise my values to fit in. I strive to be who I am in Christ consistently, 24 hours a day, regardless of where I am.

But when it comes to the little things, I too often cave. As reluctant as I am to admit it, I spend too much time concerned by image. I want to be dressed appropriately. I want to behave appropriately. I want to be cool.

I had a real gut check earlier this week at the pool with the children. They are little fish, having made tremendous strides in their swimming abilities this Summer. It is so much fun to watch the games they come up with in the pool. They even invite me to join in. I know it is important to their self esteem and the development of their imagination to join in their games. I truly have fun playing with them.

Yet, this week, I realized that I didn't want to join in now that their games require going underwater, for fear of what the other Moms might think. I don't enjoy parading around in my swimsuit dry and "made-up," much less drenched and red-eyed from chlorine with mascara running down my face. Especially when 90% of the other Moms are dry on the side, looking great and enjoying adult conversation.

I felt God prompt me to surrender my pride and jump in. I am so thankful I did. I even went so far as to play Mommy Monster with them and allow my wet hair to cover my face as I chased them around the shallow end. I heard some of the other Moms laugh. With me or AT me, I am not sure. I cared just a little.

I realized the bottomline is that I am at the pool for my children, not for anyone else. My kids only get one childhood. I want to enjoy it and participate in it...not just watch from the sidelines. Even if it means I am not "cool."

21 comments:

Sheila said...

Well, in my mind "mascara at the pool" = "not planning to get wet but planning to be seen."

I doubt they were laughing at you. It's more likely that the other moms are jealous... wishing they had the 'guts' to jump in and enjoy, instead of worrying about how they looked.

I applaud this step toward self-actualization.

Ashley said...

I admire you for stepping outside that comfort zone and embracing life. You are so right that childhood only occurs once. I long for the day when I can dive in with my kiddos. You are such an example and blessing! Have a wonderful Sunday afternoon!

Big Mama said...

Too bad we don't go to the same pool. We could be uncool together. I always wonder how those other mamas manage to sit there looking great while I look like a drowned rat.

Connie@Little Red Hearts From God said...

What precious memories many people miss out on worrying about what others might... just think...

I have just left my son's room.. watching him build... yes build... a football player.. on some game... but it was just too important that I be there... with him...he's 12, in two more days... and for me to be there with him....brought so much joy.... how could I ever miss that...and the memories it brings...

I like the thought of a mascara monster....and years from now, the kids saying, "Mom, remember when..."

because chances are, no one at the pool will remember it other than your kids...

Natalie said...

I have only just started reading your blog but I love it. Your thoughts are so deep and honest. I too often care too much about what other people might think and too often want to sit and chat with the other moms. You have reminded me that this is their only childhood and God wants me to be fully engaged in it!!! Thanks :)

The Robinson Girls said...

Kudos for you! I like the last paragraph- I should remember that next time I need to dress up like the fairy godmother, while my daughter is "sindalella" and play outside- even if it is 103 degrees in Florida!

Thank you for reminding me of what's really important.

Embracing my cup said...

That makes you super "cool" in my book, and I am certain that your children agree!!! Thanks for the inspiration to let go!

Paulette said...

You are the coolest mommy I know by far and I don't even know you in person, only from the heart! You set a president by doing this and it may just get the other mommys in there as well.
Go Mommy!

Jacob and Andi said...

Man- Mommy monster is the greatest. If that's not cool, then I'll hop in the loser boat with you and we'll have a party.

Courtney said...

I think the uncool moms are the ones on the sidelines! Way to go, I know that is hard to let go of sometimes...but you definitely had the right mindset--those other moms on the sidelines might be jealous that their kids didn't ask them to join in their games...you are cool to your kids and their opinion only matters

Lori said...

Your babies will always remember how great it was that you were in the pool with them. I'm not a swimmer, and my son understood that, but I would sit at the edge and throw diving sticks for him and he was thrilled. Ten years later, he still talks about it. It is how your children view you that will be important down the road! Thank you for sharing your life with us!

Jenny said...

I'm right with you on jumping in and getting wet! The memories you are making with them are very cool!!

A Place For Ministry Wives said...

Yet another battle conquered. Praise God.

Alison said...

YOU are cool! Your kids are so very blessed! Your house will be the one that everyone wants to be at. This I am sure of!

Carrie said...

I love seeing moms having fun with the kids. I think we leave that to the dads too often. I'm right there with you looking 'uncool' but the kids think we're super cool!

Vietnam Baby Girl Smith said...

I just want to say that I think you are an awesomely awesome Mom! If I may put it that way. I give you so much credit for always revaluating the ways that you can cherish these days with your children and do better at softening your children's heart toward the Lord ...and for His glory at that. I enjoy your blog because it helps to give me an idea of the things I wanna do when we bring our little one and eventually little ones into our home and family!

fAiThFuL cHiCk said...

Bravo for your authenticity. The more we share about these moments, the closer we will all get to not caring what people think. Blessings...

Deidre said...

I love how honest you are. In my opinion, YOU were the one that looked like you had it together. Your kids won't forget it.

The Jones Family said...

YOU GO GIRL!!

Perri said...

Priorities in order? Check.

You can mark that off your list of things to make sure you do and I bet you had a blast doing it!

Jan said...

Oh, you're cool. Especially to your children!! Very cool. And those dry ladies know it, too.