My kids officially smell of summer. And to me summer smells like sunscreen.
From the moment the gates of our community pool crank back open again, our kids will swim, dive, splash, lather, laugh, lick ice cream and live at the pool.
And I know for many of us, that is the exact same amount of time we will spend trying to hide, cover up, conceal, suck in, and disguise the very bodies that gave birth to these kids.
These bodies that stretched to accommodate sets of feet, brilliant heads and minds, beating hearts, and flexing limbs. These bodies that are round where some say they should be flat; soft where some say they should be hard; and full where many others are running on empty.
These bodies that are winsome and wise with their wrinkles that wink back at the world and share more inside jokes and delicious life experience than could possibly squeeze into the tiny, polka dot bikinis of our youth.
These bodies that are in the service of the King who sculpted them out of sinew and His own Spirit.
These bodies that bend low and pick up socks and broken hearts, wipe crumbs and tears and walk the long, lonely hall ways of two a.m. – rocking babies or waiting up for teens.
These bodies that are the sanctuary for tired kids and continue to carry them and all their hopes and dreams deep here under our rib cage. The place that aches when they smile; the place that spills over with wonder at all this eternity walking around with skin on.
These bodies with wrinkled hands from years of serving meals or making art or sewing or digging gardens and planting bulbs.
These bodies that have born children through our words or blogs or hundreds of hours spent mentoring the next generation or bringing babies home from broken places – all the incredible, miraculous ways our bodies mature and our hearts explode the limitations of skin and muscle.
These bodies that tell the story of miracle and wonder and wink from wide hips and wrinkled steps at the tiny life guards who don’t know yet that living life unguarded in the wide open expanse of opening your life up to others is the best way to be beautiful. They will grow into it. They will earn their own scars.
And we will be there modeling what brave looks like for them. Every step of the way into the deep end of the pool with miniature daughters clinging to our necks. Or with other wrinkled sisters who still swim on fearless. With joy off the diving board and loud laughter trying to out race our sons.
“You should not spend your days trying to preserve your body in its eighteen-year-old form. Let it be used. By the time you die, you want to have a very dinged and dented body… Scars and stretch marks and muffin tops are all part of your kingdom work. One of the greatest testimonies Christian women can have in our world today is the testimony of giving your body to another.”
~Life-changing wisdom from Rachel Jankovic, author of Loving the Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches.
Let’s not hide this summer.
Let’s spend it all. Lavishly.
All this life we’ve been gifted with.
Let’s spend it down to the very last delicious drops of summer – because you are created for more. Much more than your swimsuit.