I didn’t grow up in a naked family.
You know what I mean, everybody just strolls around with their stuff hanging out, wobbling about as if we’re back in the Garden of Eden, pre-apple. Um, need I remind you of Genesis: Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
I’m thinking of a certain family I grew up with that lived by the philosophy of: Forget a towel? No worries; just walk to your room naked.
Au naturel didn’t fly in the Sanders family household. We didn’t even say the words “period” or “tampon.” Instead, we’d say, “Could you get me some of those thingies for my you-know what?” It wasn’t like my mom washed us down with lye and ammonia, but any of that lady talk wasn’t appreciated.
I saw my sister nakey once. She decided to forgo school for some “me” time. When I walked into her room, she was all … exposed, clipping her toenails. Sick. I don’t really count my mom, since she’s not afforded the right to privacy just as I’m not, but I’ve seen her naked too many times to count. As for Dad — I’ve tried to suppress it, so let’s move on.
Being raised Amish, it makes sense I would birth a little girl who’s always pulling a full monty. Her collar itches; why not remove her entire wardrobe? A drop of water soils her pants, off they come. And let’s not forget, if a little boy is seen shirtless, so must Scarlett be. Eyebrows remained stationary when she was 2, but now she’s 3, so I see strangers’ brows begin to defy gravity.
Recently, we took a trip to St. George, which now has a manmade river running through the middle of town. Kids splashed and floated in all types of garb. Scarlett selected topless. My primary concern is the ugly truth of predators, but for one woman, it was the lack of modesty displayed by my preschooler. The woman made no attempt to hide her disdain for my perceived permissive parenting, saying, “I would think a child that old would need to cover up.” I think she’s unaware the life expectancy is late 70s, not 10.
Going with the classic passive-aggressive style taught to me by other mothers, I splashed, hoping a drop would dot her capris. Showed her. Scarlett also played without her shirt, because I don’t see why she had to be uncomfortable while little boys that looked just like her ran around.
Teaching her to be ashamed of a body I made through blood, sweat and a lack of caffeine, seems a bit premature.
And I’m not ready to shove double standards down her throat. Next time I get a comment, off comes my Walmart cotton tee, so people can see a body they could be ashamed of.