Y’all, it’s getting to the point where I kind of hate summer. Not in the “OMG I can’t wait for my kids to go back to school because they’re driving me crazy,” I hate summer, because, well, that ship has sailed. Not in the “Check on your fat friends. It’s hot and we are not doing ok” way either. I mean, yeah, it’s hot, but I love that. I kind of hate summer because they’re so damn busy that by the time I have a minute to actually enjoy the warm weather and longer nights, we’re knocking on the door of Fall again.
I think this summer has been busier than most I can remember, so when I realized I had a chance to get out of town this weekend for a fundraiser, I couldn’t get out of here fast enough. Seriously, I couldn’t leave fast enough because it’s road construction season in Utah and that severely hindered the speed at which I could get 150 miles away from home. Anyway, this fundraiser…it was a pool party. Yes, the exact kind of fundraiser this girl would have normally skipped, because well, we’ve already discussed years of body image issues in this blog, so you can only imagine the kind of anxiety a pool party would trigger. BUT….for the first time in forever, there was absolutely no anxiety over this, and I thought to myself “F this. I’m going. And besides, the way the top of this swimming suit is cut, NOBODY is going to be looking at my food baby.” And to take that “Who the hell cares” attitude a step further…I ended up at a shopping mall with a friend from the pool party and probably ended up on someone’s “people of Wal-Mart” upload since I never bothered changing out of the board shorts I wore to the pool party, and just threw a tank top on over the swimming suit before we walked in the mall and spent the next 2 hours shopping. Anyway, that’s really not the way I was going with this, but I was pretty impressed with how ugly I was willing to look in public this weekend, so it had to be shared.
While shopping, and probably looking like I needed to crawl back under a bridge, I received a text that said “You are so beautiful.” Now, homegirl knows this had NOTHING to do with my physical appearance, but more that it was a reaction to an act of kindness towards the person who had just texted me. (Although a quick scan of Facebook later showed that text was sent right around the time its sender liked my Insta/Facebook share from the pool party so, it could have had something to do with the physical aspect too.) Still, how does a text that says “You are so beautiful” not make you just melt?!
Later that evening, or maybe it was the next morning, I’m too lazy to get my phone to look at the exact timeline, I was invited to go to a trampoline park in the deep south of Salt Lake County. I HATE, with a passion, the deep south of Salt Lake County. Like, it makes absolutely no sense for a girl who lives in rural Utah to hate Southwest Salt Lake County as much as I do, but it is what it is. As much as I despise this area of the state, I love the people who asked me to go there, so without hesitation, I headed to the burbs on my way back to rural Utah on Sunday.
I beat my partners in crime to the park, so I had prime view from my parking space of the faces my best friend’s kids made when they pulled in to the parking space next to mine. They were so excited, which got me right in the feelings. Then they ran over to me and I realized they might be just as excited to see me as they were to go to the trampoline park, which got me right in the feelings again.
It didn’t take long for the kids to want to bounce without needing a constant audience, which was when I got some much needed time with their dad, who after a minute asked “What’s new in your life. What’s going on with you?” And in my head, I had all kinds of things to say. But these aren’t trampoline park things to say. Because what I WANTED to say was:
* I’m so tired from working ALL the time.
* I need a break from reality that lasts longer than 24 hours.
* Can we talk about how terrifying it is to have a family history of cancer in a body part that can’t be removed as a preventative measure?
* While we’re on that subject, my brother isn’t doing so great, and there’s a million different things I want to tell you about that.
* I just need another hug to make all the noise in my head go away.
* I love when your kids grab my hand and don’t even look back to see if you’re following.
* Once, the little one called me mom.
* My dad told me he would pay for college if I decided I wanted to go back, but I have no idea how I can even find the time for it, even though it would validate the 20 years of experience I have in my line of work and make it so I could demand the money I’m ACTUALLY worth.
* My home address needs a change of scenery…one that’s not so rural and lonely.
Trampoline parks are fun. But trampoline parks smell like feet, and one does not get emotional in a place that smells like feet and pre-teen body odor. So instead of discussing what’s new, or what was going on in my head, we sat and enjoyed the pure joy of a 10 year old, and an ALMOST 4 year old at the trampoline park, and THAT was exactly the kind of peace and tranquility my soul needed. Among the sweat and feet, I found a calmness that didn’t exist anywhere else in the world, and that was the best thing ever.