Thursday, July 30, 2009


My daughter Autumn was two and in a naked stage of life. Clothing was not her thing. As soon as we would leave the room, she would shed the clothes and be one with nature.

One day, we were upstairs when we heard the doorbell ring. We heard Autumn, who was downstairs, scamper to the door. We were coming down the stairs when we heard the four-year-old boy next door say, in a tremulous voice, "Mommy, Autumn is naked!"

Welcome to America, Joel!

I am quite happy that my daughter is now a little older and a little wiser, and has learned the value of clothing (although she may haven taken it to an extreme with shoes).

I was having a discussion with a friend not too long ago about people who have openly confessed to having some issue or struggle in their life that they are trying to overcome, and the resulting reaction from people around them. Of course, there will be some who are graceful and compassionate, there will be those who would rather just not hear it, and those who will shun the confessor.

Why is this such a tough thing for people to handle? I think of our little neighbor boy who was unfortunately exposed to my daughter in an unexpected moment, and it worried him. Does bad news set us up on a path of negative thinking, now expecting the worst and wanting to hide from it? Does it remind us of our own frailty and hidden struggles, and we'd rather not think about our own exposure?

Our conversation covered the wistful freedom of being able to be completely honest and exposed to our closest friends, and the fear of being completely honest and exposed to our neighbors and the possibility of hearing footsteps running in the other direction.

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