We’re at a lake with my sister and her husband. My sister and I are wearing swimsuits. No T-shirts, worn as half-assed attempts to cover up, just swimsuits. We are in possession of fully developed senses of self-esteem. We are shining examples of how to be “real” women. We are feeling OK.
Until my then 4-year old son opens his mouth.
He stands on the dock, points at my sister, and says in a voice that narrowly escapes qualifying as a yell:
“AUNTIE, YOUR THIGHS ARE BIG AND WIGGLY.”
I’m in a change room in the family locker room at the Y. Now-5-year old son was not in the pool, and he’s waiting on a bench for his sister and I to change. I’m going as fast as I can, but 2 year old girls are wriggly, and 5 year old boys have limited attention spans.
I finally get daughter dressed, bribe her with gummy bears to sit still while I get myself dressed.
Son can’t take the waiting anymore. I tell him as quietly as possible that I’m in the middle of getting dressed, and that as soon as I have pants on, I’ll be out. He slides under the door, face-up, mechanic style.
And says, “Well. There’s something you don’t see every day!”
Someone at the Y has a sick sense of humor. They’ve booked 12 babies, 13 toddlers and 6 preschoolers for lessons. All at the same time. The family change room is a freaking mob scene. I put my head down, try to concentrate. I’ve managed to get both kids and myself into suits, through the washroom and into the showers. As I’m congratulating myself on my superior organizational skills, my son pulls on my hand to get my attention.
He points at a woman 2 shower nozzles away. In his best stage whisper, he says, “Mom! Her regina’s gettin’ away!”
I look to where he’s pointing. The woman is, indeed, wearing half her moneymaker outside her bathing suit.
Do I shush him, tell him not to be rude? Do I worry that my son has been scarred by the sight of what looks like a weather beaten squirrel hanging out at his eye-level? Do I reassure him that it is not “gettin’ away”?
No. I do not.
“Honey, it’s VA-gina, not RE-gina. Regina is the capital of Saskatchewan. Try to remember that.”