I was cutting a peach today for the girls’ snack and I had to put the knife down and look at my hands. I’m in definite denial about getting older but my hands reminded me that denial doesn’t really work. My body is older than I think I should be. My hands are a little bit dry. They are tanned a bit from being out with the kids (I even have the tell-tale wedding band tan line). My cuticles are dry and my nails unpolished. I have broken three different fingers in the last 10 years. I have very distinctive hands.
My mother, as I have mentioned before, has a distinctive smell. It’s not a bad smell; it’s actually a very good smell. She hardly ever wears perfume. She has changed laundry soap, body wash and cosmetics over they years. And yet, if I lay in her bed, her pillow still smells the same. When Ella and I were at the pool today, there was a smell that reminded me of her. Coconut.
When I was a little myself, my mom used to put us down for a “nap” and she would take a nap in the lawnchair. She would slather herself with oil. It was the zero SPF stuff. Pretty much straight mineral oil with a little bit of scented something or other. It was a tan enhancer or so it claimed. My mom has beautiful olive toned skin and dark, thick hair. She is tall and thin and has always taken care of herself. I remember her laying on her stomach on a plastic lounge chair (that made the click, click, click as it was being flattened) that was draped in a white beach towel. She would sun herself into an Eastland loafer (it was the 80’s after all and who didn’t want a pair of Eastlands?) and nobody though to look twice.
When Ella and I were at the pool, there were several high school age girls who were all very, very tan. More tan than anyone has a right to be in June in the upper midwest. There were also 5 year olds in sparkly bikinis and very young, fat babies in nothing but a disposable swim diaper. (As a sidenote: no daughter of mine will wear a bikini until *at least* their 16th birthday….you can hold me to it.) I was there in my “mom” style swimsuit but I’m happy to report that it doesn’t have a skirt and doesn’t need one. Even though I tote the baby belly and boobs big enough to knock you down (if you happen to be 4 feet tall), my legs are still hot.
I was also not the most unattractive person there. I am, oddly enough, more self conscious in church than I am at the pool for that very reason. There aren’t very many people that look really, really good in a swimsuit and those that are, are usually flanked by those that don’t look so hot. I don’t look at them and they don’t look at me. After all, I’m there to play with my kid. The place is filled with preschoolers and although they are, as a group, historically brutal in their honesty, they don’t care. I’m just another mom. And that’s okay with me. Even if I am in a mom swimsuit.
My friend and I are leaving for Minneapolis in the morning. I will get a full night’s sleep even if I have to leave the state and pay for a hotel room. The upside, is that Hampton Inn has the exact same mattress as I do (thanks to the fine, fine people at Serta) so the transition should be seamless. We will make a visit to Ikea and probably to The Cheesecake Factory. We will have a whole conversation without having to change a diaper in the middle of it or worry about naps and bedtimes. We are going to meet a fantastic author and I will try not to say something dumb.
What am I going to say? Should I tell her that she inspired me to blog? That I have a new love for Lucky Charms? That I feel like I’ve known her forever? That we should be BFF? Or would that be too much… I wish I could take her out for a drink. I wish that I will be brave enough to tell her that her words got me to laugh when my own life was soooo not funny. But I probably won’t say anything. I’ll probably just hand over my dog-eared copies of her books and hope she makes eye contact. Words just don’t come out right when they aren’t coming out of my fingers.
I don’t know what to say. I have a distinctive way of writing but I can’t form a sentence under pressure.