The Scene? Classic! Four millennials and one middle-aged woman lounging on rafts Audrey Hepburn-style. The sign at the opening of the adult pool reads, “Relaxation in Process.”
The men bounce babies nearby at the Family Pool as we savor conversations that bob up and down like the crystal waters under our rafts. These women form the essence of who I am: daughters, daughter-in-law, niece. I’ve watched two of them come into the world and the other two entered my heart years ago.
We hold onto each other’s rafts and pull in close so we can drink in the goodness of time spent together.
“You’re all in one-piece swimsuits, and I’m in a two piece. I shouldn’t be because I’m fat.” I whine.
“Stop it Mom!” My daughter scolds. “Don’t put down your body. You look fantastic!”
“I scold my mom for the same thing.” My daughter-in-law adds.
The message comes across as clear as the pool’s water: Accept your body, who you are, how God made you.
I take the correction yet roll over onto my tummy before the camera clicks a photo.
When we’re all together, there’s no pressure to perform or to look perfect or to act just right. Just the bubbling forth of life-giving words. And although conversations can’t be recalled, they somehow cement us as one.
Women need this! I ponder, while swaying with the rhythm of the rafts. Women need time away from bouncing babies and cleaning houses and rushing to buckle car seats for drives to childcare. Women need to get away from work and worry and, as my best friend, Barbie puts it, “Get off the crazy train!”
I need this! A retreat to think and to write and to enjoy those I love more than any goals I work towards.
Yes, my daughter is right! “Sometimes you’ve got to lay on a raft in an adult pool!”