Deep Thoughts From a Ladies’ Locker Room

BathingBeauties

Image via the United States Library of Congress.

Yesterday was a teacher planning day (no school), so I took Sarah, Sid, and two of Sid’s friends to the Mt Scott indoor pool. We had a blast: 15-month-old Sarah went from being scared and super-clingy to repeatedly jumping into the pool with glee, and the boys loved the lazy river, whirlpool, and water slide.

I’m a little sore today after carrying around a 25-pound baby in the pool for two hours (so much crab walking, ow), but I’m also pondering an epiphany I had in the ladies’ locker room.

Bear with me here. So, I was checking out the naked elderly women in the ladies’ locker room. I’m not a creeper, I swear–it’s almost impossible not to see them, because the elderly women at the pool do not give an eff. They’ve got it all hanging out–they offer no apologies or furtive glances. They are living life!

But in the back of my mind, I always have this guilty, repressed thought: Dear Lord, am I going to look like THAT someday? The wrinkled, slack skin, the gray hair, the . . . aging. Because no matter how I try to be better than this, it’s been imprinted on me that the worst thing a woman can do is to become old and–according to prevailing standards–undesirable.

But as I walked past, holding Sarah’s hand, another thought occurred to me: one day, she’ll look like this too! And it’s like the heavens opened and my perspective shifted just a tiny bit, and I had my epiphany.

Would I love Sarah any less if she became an old woman? Of course not–I’d be happy she lived a long life (and still loved the water)! She’d still be my precious baby!

Not too long ago, in the general scheme of things, those women had sleek, round baby bodies, too–and then they became children, teenagers, women, and now older women. We all get a turn to be all things. There’s nothing shameful about it: it’s literally one of the most natural things in the world!

So I feel like this is yet another fringe benefit to having a daughter (besides our future Mommy and Me wardrobe–oh it is coming): it’s led me to several unexpected “aha!” moments that I think are making me a slightly better person.

Have any of you experienced something like this? Willing to share?

 

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