In case you didn’t know, Good ol’ New England is having a heat wave; the temps are expected to hit 93 before the end of today. So naturally, I went to Revere Beach this morning with my 17 month old daughter. It was 85 degrees by 9 in the morning. Crazy.
I grew up overhearing tales of the old Revere Beach from my mother; she regaled us with stories of cotton candy and vomit-inducing roller coaster rides with her cousin. It’s nothing like it used to be; it used to be a resort area filled with amusements and fast food. Now, after a couple of conspiracy-story fires that were set, it’s just quiet. Which is fine.
I camped out right where the dry sand met the wet, mushy stuff. My daughter wanted nothing to do with the cold, rolling waves, but loved the sand. So she literally bathed in it. While I was leaning over to make a sandturtle, she had dumped a pile of sand on her head. A thick layer of sand coated her scalp. I groaned inwardly, but laughed to myself. Because the best thing that’s ever been taught to me was by my daughter – the art of letting go. The art of getting messy and not caring what things look like.
Before I had her, I would spend 20 minutes on my eye makeup. I would have long pedicures at home and just curl my hair for fun sometimes. Now, I don’t have time for that stuff. Which sucks, sometimes, but it’s great, in another way.
When you are eating a mud pie and smooshing it all over your face, you don’t care if your blue veins are showing through your pale Irish skin. You’re having fun and marvelling at the fabulousness of having mud pie ALL OVER YOUR FACE. When you’re throwing sand in the wind, you don’t pay attention to the cellulite on your thighs because you’re jumping in big, funny lunges to avoid getting sand in your eyes. And when you’re picking up shells, you’re not caring about your untoned tummy, because you are collecting little magical treasures, one at a time.
Don’t get me wrong. I still have control problems; you’d probably all laugh at my nighttime routine, which is OCD-esque and consists of this strange “sweep-the-entire-house-feed-the-cats-change-their-litterbox” routine. But spending time has done wonders for my body image; I use my body in way more fun ways now than I ever did.
Do you remember that time? Before you hit puberty and all hell broke loose? When you made soup in the ground with sticks and leaves? When you rode bikes just as fast as the neighborhood boys? When girls were equal to boys and just as capable?
It’s still there.
You can still have it now.
Have a blissful Friday.