As I made my way across the dunes to the spot we chose to set up for family beach day, I prepared myself mentally.
"You aren't the only mom on this beach."
"Other women there will have stretch marks."
"Hey, sister, this body brought two healthy babies into the world."
I was prepped.
Y'all, I got there and looked around, searching for other moms who'd opted for one pieces or those Hawaiian print jobs with the short bottoms in hopes that they'd mask the spider veins or hide the cellulite.
I only saw sun drenched, Crossfit-toned bodies of what seemed like every woman around us on the beach. Their swimsuit bottoms must have been bought at a different store than where I shop because they were missing some VERY important pieces of fabric, allowing their round, undimpled cheeks to peek out.
In that exact moment I had a choice.
I could do what I usually do and crown myself conductor of the apology train:
"I'm sorry I haven't made working out more of a priority."
"Sorry I didn't buy the swim capris to cover these ghost-white legs."
"I'm so sorry I ate that extra slice of pizza last night."
Um, no. Bye, Karen.
Look, there will legit ALWAYS be someone--a mean girl, an immature person, a sad, self-loathing Karen who will judge everything from my thighs to my parenting. Great! Good for them.
So today is the day I stop apologizing and asking for forgiveness.
I am not sorry I haven't worked out more because I get cardio errrrryday by chasing my two littles as they climb the counters and run circles around our house.
I won't ask for forgiveness that my legs aren't tan because tanning is bad for you and I don't have the time or money to relax even if I was pro-skin cancer.
In zero ways am I sad I've not spent my nights in the gym because my days are filled teaching my kids, playing, and letting them be wild and my nights are for spending time remembering why I love my husband so much, and Netflix, and chasing my dream of writing.
So, no. I will not apologize. I will not ask for forgiveness.
Instead, today I will sink my chair into the sand, let the water roll over my unpainted toes, sip something cold, and lean my too chubby for a selfie neck back as I listen to my kids laugh.
I will crouch into a position that I'll likely need help up from to bury my son in the sand.
I will take hilarious selfies with my husband as we rock our parental real-life bods and show our kids that we are damn proud of what God gave us and they should be too. The sounds of their laughter as we play in the incoming tide is reminder that we are doing something right.