you discover treasures where others see nothing unusual

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That was my fortune from lunch yesterday. Okay, that’s a half truth. I actually ate many fortune cookies and gained lots of fabulous fortune, (and calories…what do they put in those things and why do they have to taste so good?!?), but this one resonated with me the most. You’ll find out why in due time.

I ended up taking my daughter to work yesterday. It was completely unplanned but absolutely necessary.

Our mornings are insane, because I constantly find myself doing the same thing over and over again with the mad hope of a different result…which would be smiley faces instead of tears. Amazing hair instead of a frazzled mess. Full tummies instead of children protesting that they’re not awake enough and definitely not hungry.

But every morning, without fail, I get up at the last possible moment. Yes, I know that there are showers and baths that need to take place. Yes, I’m also aware that three people need to eat, get dressed, have lunches made, sunscreen applied and sometimes make their beds. I’m also aware that this is not humanly possible in forty-five minutes. But I keep trying.

So, yesterday morning, in the midst of all this chaos, when my girl child came to me with her bathing suit in hand and told me that she absolutely, positively, did not want to go to the gorgeous beach with her class, I looked at her stupefied.

First of all, we’re a family of beach rats. We can’t possibly get enough of it, ever. Secondly, my kids are fish. Fish who want to live in bathing suits and rash guards, 24/7. Sometimes we have to hide the rash guard from the boy child, because he thinks it’s perfectly fine to eat, sleep, play and sweat in it, every day of the week. Third…we’re in the middle of a freakish heat wave. I can’t think of anything better than to run around the sand with all of my friends. I wish I was seven and going to the beach.

So I asked her why, thinking maybe she’d just had enough of the sun for one week.

Her response shocked me.

The kids make fun of her. Because of the way she looks in her bathing suit. My child is perfect. And I’m not saying this because I’m her mom and I’m totally and completely biased. I’m saying this because I remember being awkward at a much older age and totally mortified of being in anything that clung to my skin more than a burlap sack. But I was twelve and pudgy and awkward. My child is SEVEN. She is in the 90th percentile for height and weight. She’s so gorgeous that my Dad wants me to enroll her in karate to protect her from all the bad guys that he’s positive want to steal her.  She has nothing to be ashamed of, and (although her attitude doesn’t necessarily reflect this), I’m pretty sure puberty is, (please god) several years away.

So I fired off the questions. Was it because she has a tankini instead of a one piece? No. Other girls wear tankinis and bikinis. Was it because her tankini was ruffled and was Minnie Mouse themed? No, other girls have character-themed suits. In a word, it was nothing she could pinpoint, but she’s being made fun of in her bathing suit and this mama wasn’t having any of it.

So I took her to work, because even though I told her that the a/c was broken and it was a bazillion degrees and people are working and she had to be quiet as a mouse and it was going to be incredibly boring, she still wanted to come.

So she did. And I talked one of my coworkers into bringing their daughter, who’s the same age, and they were awesome squared. My child was so excited not to be at the beach that she busied herself like this:

And this:

And it was amazing. I’m still bothered by the fact that a seven year old girl is being made fun of in a swimsuit.  We will definitely be having conversations with the staff and other parents and last but not least, our small child, and I will buy her a wetsuit or a burlap sack if it makes her more comfortable in her skin. But spending the day with her yesterday was kind of awesome. And when I came into the office, I was greeted with this:

That’s me, finding treasures where others see nothing else unusual.

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