A little prelude to this post. My children are 21, 20, and 18. The all still live at home. And they ALL sleep naked.
Now, you are probably wondering how I know this. Simple, both of my sons think that the second floor of our shared abode is something like “Bob And Babette’s Bare Bottoms Nature Reserve”. I am constantly telling them to “shut their bedroom doors until their penises are put away”. And my daughter, that was one embarrassing “I went into her room one night to look for a pair of nail clippers, and she was asleep with the blankets askew” moment. Not an experience I hope to recreate any time soon.
Yes, as I move through this journey called parenthood, I know that a change is on the horizon. I’ve witnessed this kind of thing before.
For example, when my oldest son was almost three, I knew that things needed to be different when he came up to me in the grocery store and said – in a voice deeper than my husband’s – “I need a nurse.” I knew right then and there that it was time to cut him off from breastfeeding. Yeah, I was one of those hippie mothers who nursed her babies almost until they could ride a two-wheel bike without the training wheels. My girlfriend buried her placenta in her backyard. At least, I didn’t do that.
Also, I knew that it was time for my kids to move into their own rooms – are you surprised that we practiced the “family bed” as well, probably not – when my husband could barely walk from having to sleep on the floor for nearly five years. And today my children are totally independent, so what if none of them know how to turn off the lights, do the dishes, or take the G.D. bus.
Just so you know, from the time my children were infants until they were preteens, we lived in a very Bohemian, student-centred community. Think Jesus Christ Superstar and Wanderlust but without the religious overtones, the singing, or the free sex. It was actually a wonderful place to raise kids – very supportive. And it probably completely explains why my offspring are profoundly comfortable with their own bodies, which in this rather uptight world, I believe is quite refreshing.
I still think it’s almost time for them to fly the coop and find their own places to live, though in the imagined words of Stephen Gaskin, (founder of the modern-day American commune The Farm), “I wouldn’t be mad if they decided to move in right next door, or if they wanted to buy one giant family complex where we could all live happily together because love is love and love brings the world together and I love them”. I just want to be able to lock my section of the house at night and keep them out of my kitchen. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.
Extended Breastfeeding (Beyond One Year)
From Free Love And Sexual Liberation To Vegetable Patches And $3 A Day Living Costs: Inside America’s Oldest Hippie Commune