It was 5pm, the sun was slowly cooling down, kids were running out of their hotel rooms after their nap to enjoy the slightly cooler second part of the day with their overly protective mothers or grandmothers. Families splashing each other in the water, nannies putting sunscreen on the kids, and couples making out on the beach.
As I was laying there in the shadow reading a book about Provence, I couldn’t help but peek to see a young couple approaching the sea right in front of me – no kids around, as I should mention-. As they were entering the water, the girl slowly took of her top and kept going in wearing nothing but her bikinis and her boyfriend by her side. She didn’t take more than 3 seconds until she dived in underwater, swimming a couple of meters before coming out for air. I’m still watching, because the image is definitely better than the Provence guide. They kiss, he swims, she floats on her back, no care in the world. They could have just as well made up right there and then and nobody would have noticed. As I am mesmerized by this image of pure freedom, I can’t help but hear the kids behind me crying for their moms, or screaming of excitement while playing in the sand. I am stuck between two utterly and completely opposite worlds – the parents club with little monsters building sand castles and bomb-jumping in the sea, and this adventurous, freeing feeling of freedom and flirting and excitement that you can only see in couples without children.
One day I want to have more kids so that the table for the next Christmas will be busier, louder and sweeter, the next day I want my husband to say ‘pack your bikinis we’re going to Capri’. One day I want to wake up in a bed full of hungry kids waiting for me to make pancakes. The next morning I want to wake up naked on that yacht in Italy, and do nothing all day long but skinny dipping and pasta eating. One day I want to redecorate my son’s room, the other I want to buy myself that necklace I am wishing for. One day I am feeling Mom, the next I want to be me, the woman, the lover, the spontaneous girl, the crazy wife.
Still thinking about the topless free girl from earlier, you can imagine how big my surprise was when 30 minutes later she came back to the sea, this time with a little baby on her hip, snuggling her together with daddy. Perhaps the baby was taking a nap while mommy was swimming topless in the sea? There I was thinking she was just a careless girl.
But no – she was a mom, too. Which made me admire her even more, because even though she probably gave birth no longer than 6 months ago, she did not forget who she was. She was not afraid to put the mom veil aside for a little while and have a good time with her husband. To set sail, be free, go wild.
Too many women forget who they are after becoming moms. Too many women forget they are women, wives and girlfriends first. Too many women let go of their true soul and devote themselves solely to their kids. But once in a while, a breath of fresh air and a dive underwater might be all we need to remind ourselves who we are. Women, children, lovers, adventurers. And mothers.
And perhaps we can be all of these. Can we?