I may live in Vermont, but I'm no commune-dwelling vegan hippie nudist. However, if you were to spend much time in my home, you'd discover pretty quickly that all Sarah wants is to be naked. Naked naked naked. I can usually prevail upon her to keep her unders on (as she tends to call 'em), but really? The kid just likes to be nekkid.
And I love it. I love seeing her little bare tush as she runs through the house on her mysterious urgent missions. I love that she has no notion of her body as anything but this amazing contraption that keeps growing and getting stronger and delighting her with what she can do with it. "Look at me!" is the pretty much constant refrain around here. As it should be. A friend of mine once said that if adults could have TA-DA! moments the way little kids do, we'd all be a lot happier.
I used to run around in my unders, too. Or at least topless. But I clearly remember the day I was aware that I was NAKED. It was the summer I turned five. I was going to my friend Mo's house, and I didn't have a shirt on. July in Pennsylvania? Fuhgeddit. Anyway, I was on my way next door, just about to walk through the narrow band of trees separating our houses when... Ohhh. Oh, no. Wait. I'm naked. I gotta get a shirt. And I turned around and ran inside.
Nothing triggered it. No one pointed it out to me. But somehow, I'd eaten from the apple and couldn't close my eyes.
I hope Sarah's moment is still a long time coming. I want her to love her fat little belly (that's what she calls it) and streak around the house and live free of the burden of BODIES and NAKEDNESS and SHAME that seems to be an inheritance most of us can't avoid. I want her to be strong and fierce and free. I know her eyes will be opened some day, but I hope, oh I hope, that when it happens she just doesn't care.