Sunday, July 31, 2011

Beach Bodies

Spent a bit of time at the beach today. Did you know that there are 4 beaches within a 10-15 minute drive of our place? Not bad at all, I say. It makes it delightfully possible to steal away for an hour or so and not worry about getting on the road by a quarter past dawn to make the most of your one "beach day" of the month.

Walking on the beach today, painfully aware of myself in a bikini for the first time this summer, I couldn't help but appreciate the unabashed lack of self-awareness in the under-5 set. Being at the beach these days is an exercise in self-flagellation for most of us, but not for our kids...yet. My daughter doesn't care about sitting up straight to avoid unsightly belly creases and rolls. She doesn't try to dash from the security of her towel to the security of the water out of anything more than being really excited to get in the water. She isn't concerned about sitting in the right position so as to minimize her thighs...and I love that about her. Of course, this carefree sense of confidence won't last forever. And as much as I try to shield her from my own insecurities and the insensitive remarks of people around her, there will come a day when she wants to go on a diet, when she thinks she's fat, when she doesn't like something about herself for no reason other than because someone or something told her to. And do you know what I'm going to tell her? I'm going to tell her that one of the great lessons that she has taught me, is that beauty is confidence and confidence is beauty. And the next time we hit the beach I'm going to lead by example.

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