Facing my Fear by Putting on a Bathing Suit

Tragedy and Comedy“Please mom, can we all go swimming?” as my six-year-old’s face is right in front of me.

I take a brave breath, and nod. Her screams of joy bounce off the walls as she races to her room. I ignore the voices in my head that are screaming,‘ No!’ The whole world seems to be in slow motion. As I begin to pack the bag with towels and hair brushes, I am tempted to not put in my suit. The anxious butterflies in my stomach are trying to take over my brain.

It has been 8 years since I last put on a bathing suit-two years before becoming pregnant for the first time. I have always had a love/hate relationship with my bathing suit. The last time I had it on was when my hubby and I were in Vegas by the pool. There I figured no one we knew was with us, so all good.

On the ride over to the pool I rationalized with myself: since it is Sunday morning, the pool will not be busy. Feeling a little calmer, we park as I see the crowds around the centre. They are clearly there for a swim meet. The butterflies come back and bring their kin. I know I cannot cancel now, that would give my children the wrong impression.

So , the four of us march into a family room to change and wrap up our belongings to pack into a locker. I toy with the idea of leaving my glasses in the locker so I will not see if anyone I know is there. Quickly, I slip below the water to wade around with my youngest. Now, I am beginning to feel silly. I stand up and keep playing with my family in the water.

After about an hour we are ready to go. I saw nothing but the smiles of my girls. As we are about to walk back into the Family Change Rooms, we run into my oldest daughter’s classmate and his dad. I smile a hello and keep walking, all the while, laughing at my fear.