The Sexy Bathing Suit, the Muslim Wife, and Puke
Summer is finally here, which means more family time, hot days, and dips in the pool. Yesterday, as I went to grab my bathing suit to take a quick swim, I had a flashback from two years ago, recalling one of my most memorable summertime moments.
“Mom, can we go swimming?” my oldest daughter, who was 6 years old at the time, asked with a mouthful of pizza.
“Yes! Yes!” My youngest daughter, who was 4 at the time, chanted in between bites of broccoli.
What a brilliant idea, I thought. Swimming is a great way to have fun with the girls, and guarantees that they will fall asleep early.
“Go throw on your swimsuits.” I responded with a smile.
“YEAHHHH!” they shouted in unison, almost flipping over their chairs as they ran into their room to change. I went to my room to do the same, tossing my two bathing suit options onto my bed.
There they were:
Option #1: “The Mom” bathing suit—a conservative black basic one-piece that is my staple for kid pool parties and family events.
Option #2: “Sexy Lady”—My Victoria’s Secret bohemian-style bikini that allows me to get a great tan but is way too sexy for school functions.
I could hear my girls giggling in the hall ready to go. I decided to go with Option #2–Sexy Lady. Hey, I thought, it’s just me and the girls. Most of the time our pool is empty anyway.
I put on my cover-up, grabbed the towels and the sunblock, and we were out the door.
When I unlocked the gate to the pool, both girls burst through and, mid-sprint, removed their cover-ups and kicked off their flip flops.
“Slow down, girls! Stop running!” I screamed as I closed the gate behind us and began picking up their clothes from around the pool deck. I froze as soon as I realized we were not alone. At the edge of the pool sat a women in a chair attentively watching her two boys splash in the water. But it wasn’t the company that really shook me. It was the fact that she was totally covered up. Her scarf was delicately wrapped around her head, and her beautifully adorned shirt and skirt revealed only her hands and feet.
A little ashamed of my own appearance, I desperately wanted to call the girls back so we could go home and I could change my bathing suit. They were already laughing and squealing as they jumped into the brisk pool water. Although my youngest was a pretty good swimmer for her age, I had to get in with her.
I politely said hello to the mom in the hijab as I got into the water. She shyly returned the greeting. I remember feeling completely naked in comparison. Ugh! My little one and I waded in the shallow end of the pool, and I squatted down low to hide my scantily clad body (as if the water was not clear). I then started using my daughter as a shield, grabbing her and bobbing her up in down in an attempt to cover myself.
I tried to break the awkward silence and hide my embarrassment by making small talk with the other mother. I asked her about her kids and where she was from.
“Higher, Mommy,” my youngest shouted in excitement when I got distracted by the conversation. So I began dipping her faster up and down in the water as my oldest swam with the two boys. Just as I was getting comfortable, the gate open and in walked the woman’s husband.
He was smiling wide as he took a seat next to his wife. I began talking even more, all the time throwing my youngest daughter around.
And then I heard it.
A loud, guttural burp. She opened her mouth wide and thick pinkish-orange vomit spewed out of her like a firehose.
Vomit was everywhere.
“Ewwweee,” all the kids squealed.
Pointing, my oldest shouted, “Mom, look there’s a pepperoni!”
“And there is broccoli,” my youngest added in a weak voice as she wiped away the dripping throw-up from the side of her mouth.
I looked up to see the couples’ horrified faces staring back at us.
“Time to go!” I shouted.
In one quick swoop, I grabbed my little one like a football and jumped out of the pool, sprinting toward the gate. I left my cover-up, my shoes, all of our clothes, everything.
“Your sister is sick,” I shouted back to my oldest daughter. “Get our things and meet us at the elevator.”
In actuality, my little girl was fine. She had just swallowed too much pool water, thanks to all that bobbing up and down from yours truly.
“Mom, you left me,” my oldest said as she ran toward us, our clothes spilling out of her little hands and arms.
“I had to get your sister out of there because she is sick, honey,” I said in my most convincing voice.
“I feel okay now, Mommy,” my little one reassured me. “We can go back.”
“Oh, no. I think we need to go home, clean up, and rest,” I said, although, secretly, I was ready to go home and put on my muumuu.
That day, I learned a valuable lesson. When in doubt, always wear your mom bathing suit.
Oh, and make your kids wait an hour to go swimming after they eat! Here’s to summer.