Beautiful Wisdom

This weekend, we took a road trip to Wisconsin Dells to visit the Kalahari Resort.  It is a sprawling indoor water park, located about three and a half hours from Chicago.

I stood in line for one of the towering water slides with Maddie at my side, while Katie played and splashed in the toddler area with my husband.  As we waited, I remembered another visit to the Kalahari Resort, ten plus years ago.  I vacationed there with a big group of people, including my sister and her family.  I spent most of that visit waiting in lines with my teenage niece and her friends.  I remembered how self-conscious I felt on that trip, standing next to my young niece and her young friends, decades younger than myself.  Their bodies were not yet showing the slowing metabolism and other signs of age as my own betraying body.  I remembered laughing and joking with them, all the while trying to hide my discomfort and insecurity.  Wishing I had worn a different swimsuit, wishing I hadn’t eaten that cheeseburger last night, wishing I looked like them.

I shook my head to clear the memory as I felt a tug on my arm.  “We’re next, Mommy,” Maddie grinned, her hair dripping wet.  I smiled to myself.  Oh, what I wouldn’t give now for that body I so desperately hated back then!  My thighs are bigger, my stomach is rounder, and things are saggier than I ever knew they could be.  With all those changes to my body, though, came some wisdom.  Looking down at Maddie and spying Katie down below, I know I have more beauty in my life than I ever imagined I would.

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16 thoughts on “Beautiful Wisdom

  1. Wow! What a wonderful post and one all of us women can relate to; you resolve the conflict with a beautiful message! This reminds me of a phrase I’ve heard that goes something like this, “What you regret about your body now is what you will be nostalgic for later.” Have you read Anne Lamott’s books? There is a scene – I think in Traveling Mercies – just like this!

  2. I think as a whole people long for what they once were or had instead of embracing who they now are and have become. I like to think that we are all works in progress becoming more and more who we are meant to be. We just need to enjoy who we are at the present.

  3. Yes, every mother can relate to this story! It’s true that you never really understand what will happen to your body as you age but the price is pretty small compared to the beauty of your children. It’s in those moments when it’s the hardest that we need to remember to look on the bright side. I wouldn’t trade my children for all the extra pounds, sags, wrinkles or gray hairs in the world. 🙂 Great lesson!

  4. Dana, your reflections stay true to highlighting topics that are universal to all of us. Your reflections are always so beautifully rendered, making the reading so enjoyable.

  5. Dana,
    How nice to compare the same “setting” in two different times with a few “words of the wiser” shared. Love that idea! So glad that you had fun before the rounds of “snow-maggedon” hit.

  6. Oh indeed your perspective is one many of us can share. I look at the bags under my eyes these days and long for the eyes I had just a few years ago. “Be grateful for what you have,” I try to remind myself, “some day this will be a good memory.”

  7. Yes. Yes. and Yes! Funny how our worries transfer. We went to the Dells last October and yes, I was uncomfortable and pale white, but I don’t want my girls to fear body image woes, so I acted as they do without judgement! Bravo to you — and just well said! Beautiful wisdom indeed.

  8. What a great reflection and just priceless how you end the piece. Changes are good, we just have to take the time to look. Congrats!

  9. I dreaded taking the kids to the beach this past summer because of the bathing suit issue but I forced myself to get over it, because the kids didn’t care, they just wanted Mommy to play in the sand with them and go in the water. Great reflection, so relatable.

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