(I apologize for the lack of pictures with this post, but any appropriate pictures would get me banished from the life of my daughter or arrested for child pornography or both.)
When my daughter was born, back in 1978, I was determined to accomplish just a few things (and terrified at being responsible for the rest). I wanted her to love books, music and singing, sunsets, thunderstorms, and the skin that she lived in. Now, I don’t mean the current entirely unrealistic and generally unattractive ideal of a woman—somewhere around 5 feet 8 inches tall and 100 pounds. I mean whatever skin she had at any given moment. And for all that I failed to accomplish as a very young mother, I did manage to accomplish, along with other things of which I am quite proud, these very modest goals. My daughter read voraciously, she sang like an angel, she pointed out every sunset, and she ran outside at the mere sign of a thunderstorm—sometimes naked (but that part comes later in the story).
On this particular day, when my daughter was about 5 years old, the California sky darkened ominously, lightening began to shatter the sky, and rain poured from the heavens as if to signal another great flood. So, naturally, my daughter asked if she could go outside and roller skate. I, half-jokingly, said, “Sure, but only if you go in the nude. I don’t want your clothes to get all wet.” I should have known better. The next thing I saw was a small girl, stark naked except for roller skates, heading out the front door. Now, bear in mind, we did have a cement patio in the back yard, but that, apparently, did not offer enough room to skate freely. So, off she went, staying just close enough to the house to display the appropriate amount of modesty, skating naked in the rain. And, who, really, would not relish doing just that?
The next thing I saw, when checking on her through the living room window, was a small girl, crouched down behind the car parked in our driveway, trying desperately to hide from a mailman who was trying just as desperately to pretend that he had seen nothing. He was doing an imitation from the old “Hogan’s Heroes” of Schultz saying “I see nothing, nothing.” As he moved towards the mailbox, she very skillfully, especially for a 5-year-old, skated around the car, keeping it between her and him. Then, she flew through the front door, dripping all over the floor, yelling something about mailmen sneaking up on little girls just trying to roller skate.
Oh, but this is only the beginning. When my daughter was just about the same age, my nephew Matt came for a visit. While my daughter was playing in her room (listening to every word spoken elsewhere, of course), my nephew was discussing his inordinate sense of modesty and his discomfort with nudity at inappropriate times (don’t even ask me how we got into this conversation, except that he was staying with some girl he barely knew). At any rate, my daughter heard the conversation and immediately ran into the room—stark naked—bent over and shook her butt in my nephew’s face. He was utterly horrified and I burst into hysterical laughter. I could never have scripted the moment so well. Then she ran off again, got dressed, and acted as if nothing had happened. It was priceless.
And there is much, much more. But I will spare you. You get the idea.