Have you ever caught yourself sitting at the pool wondering when you went from being Ariel the little mermaid to Ursula the sea witch?
This thought crossed my mind the other day as I waded around the baby section of the swimming pool on my stomach following Penelope from splash activity to splash activity. The pool zeros in like a beach and at one point I remembered feeling like a beached whale when my belly hit the shallowest section of the pool. At that moment, the ties of my bathing suit floated and curled around my hands reminding me of an octopus. And then it hit me…
Gone are the days of yesteryear when I would swim around the pool with my legs together half drowning, gulping down chlorinated water (and probably some other kid’s pee) in an attempt at dolphin kicking… excuse me, mermaid kicking my way from one end of the pool to the other. At this point I had already picked out what color my sea shell boobies were, and secretly wondered when I would have real boobies to fill out my sea shells. The color usually coordinated with my tail… which was sparkly.
I would always swim to the stairs at the pool where I could whip my wet hair out of my face like Ariel did only to find myself sputtering and sneezing out the water that was inevitably thrust up my nose in the attempt. I didn’t care if the other kids saw me gasping for air and wiping my hair out of my face… one day I would have that move mastered, and it would be awesome!
(Update: Still haven’t mastered it, but not for a lack of trying.)
Fast forward a few years later…
I have a toddler sized
tan line sunburn line on my inner thighs and the stealth realization that I am no longer Ariel.
This whole thought process had probably been kicked into gear earlier that morning when I got suckered into watching a wrinkle cream infomercial. I’m turning 35 this summer and it has hit me that in a few months I will transition from my “early thirties” to my “late thirties”. I think an identity crisis is underway and it has begun with the loss of Ariel.
Later that day I had packed up my Frozen bag (borrowed from Penelope) with homemade hummus and watermelon in preparation for my bike ride through the neighborhood to my friend’s house for an Outlander watching marathon. My legs were burned to a crisp and my bare blonde eyelashes blinked through the wind as my flip flops peddled as fast as they could go… hair whipping wildly behind me.
Then out of nowhere I heard a voice calling out, “Oh Goddess of Spring and Summer… come hither, come hither!”
What the hell?
It was the weirdo that trains his show dogs in the park by my cul de sac. I had never seen him before, but sometimes I can hear him cheering his dogs on from my backyard. He was obviously trying to pay me a compliment, so I waved and smiled while I peddled all the faster.
But as I rounded the corner the smile on my face lingered…
He called me a goddess.
There wasn’t anything goddess like about my appearance while I peddled in my gym shorts and t-shirt. It must have been my overdue-for-a-haircut hair whipping in the wind behind me that beckoned him to call out.
Score for finally flinging your damp hair in an alluring way! (It took you 25 years…)
From this, a new frame of mind came about and a new age-appropriate idol was born…
The Goddess of Spring and Summer!