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LETTERS FROM THE NEST: Getting out the "naked shirt"

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By: CHRISTY ELKINS

 

Warmer weather is officially upon us.
And with that comes the soft hum of air conditioning, the multiple trips to the Splash Park and consuming more ice cream than any human should ever consider.
But hey, it is summer, and rules were made to be broken, right?
Not for my son.
We heard rumor that the doors (see also chain link fence) to the local Splash Park were officially open for business, so I began the arduous task of rummaging through last year’s swim clothing to find something appropriate for each child to wear.
When I came to the bottom of the bag, I had located a suitable bathing suit for my daughter and a pair of swim trunks for each of my boys.
But I only found one swim shirt.
And since my children have a complexion that is essentially transparent, swim shirts are an absolute must for my fair-skinned little ones.
The one swim shirt I did locate fit my younger son, which meant the older boy did not have one.
“What am I going to do?” he panicked, looking down at his tiny, white belly. “I cannot go out like this. I am completely naked!”
My husband and I tried to explain to him that it is socially acceptable for men to enter public sans shirt if they are swimming.
(That’s right. Swimming, folks—just swimming. Not walking up and down the four lane carrying a 20-oz. Mt. Dew. If you plan to do this, please put your shirt back on!)
It was like the scales were removed from his eyes.
He had tasted the fruit.
His confusion turned to a sly smile as he rubbed his chest, flexed his scrawny arms and declared, “Okay then. This is my NAKED SHIRT!”
So as we entered the Splash Park for the first time this year, and I chased my child—who thought he was sporting some sort of invisible shirt that made him appear to be nude—the younger one followed suit and ripped his off as well.
When you see little boys shirtless, bare foot and stepping lightly over other children’s Band-Aids, you know summer has arrived.
And since the “naked shirt” trend is catching on, I am going to need a few extra