I realized at the pool with my kids last week that I'm ready to move on to The Big Straw Hat Phase of my life. I sat in the direct Mississippi sun, on a day of record highs, with sweat dripping down my face and into my eyes and wished for a hat large enough to shade my entire body. Including my toes. While lying on a chaise lounge.
I am over trying to look cute at the pool. I am no longer worried about having raccoon eyes from ridiculously large sunglasses. If it will help to slow the hands of time and the inevitable arrival of my crow's feet, then sign me up.
I'm not worried about putting lemon juice in my hair to save a few bucks on highlights at the salon. Life and my brunette roots have taught me that Sun-In and lemon juice will only lead me to hair a shade of orange that would make Little Orphan Annie raise an eyebrow. Highlights that are "Do It Yourself," usually have to be undone by someone else. Learn from my mistakes, young, spry brunettes of the world.
Not only do I have a hankering for a Southern Lady Sombrero, as my friend Matt calls them, I feel I'm moving toward the swim-dress phase of my life. I realized after I had three kids in four years that my days in a bikini were probably over. I even cared for a little while. I fooled myself into saving a few triangle top bikinis from my college days. Oh, I am laughing so hard I am crying just thinking about this body in those swimsuits now.
Ladies, here's a free little public service announcement: just because they make a string bikini in your size doesn't mean you should wear it in public. I'm not saying big isn't beautiful, because I think I look fabulous -- in a swim-dress and a sombrero.
I've learned some valuable lessons from my fellow vacationers this weekend, and I'm not going to be the old lady at the pool who bought her bathing suit in the Girls' Department at Target. I would rather people judge me for my swim skirt and say to each other, "Well, she doesn't need to wear that." Than look at me in a teeny bopper bikini and say to each other, "She REALLY shouldn't be wearing that." See the difference?
So, I'm easing into the Straw Hat Phase -- with it's ginormous sunglasses and stylish mini-swim skirts. I don't want to think about sucking it in and when I shaved last. I want to skirt that mess and be done with it. I have more important things to worry about at the pool, like if all my kids are above water, if my Diet Coke is cold and not getting caught stealing my kids' Doritos.
I am done slipping my spaghetti swimsuit straps off of my shoulders to avoid leaving unsightly tan-lines. At this point in my life I only worry if my bathing suit straps have the capacity to support my business and a thirty-pound toddler at the same time. And if I find the hat I'm looking for, I won't have to worry about tan-lines at all. The Big Straw Hat is going to shade everyone within a five foot radius of me... and my Diet Coke.
This post originally appeared on Robin's Chicks.