The Price of Modesty

A good friend of mine writes a blog called Wanderlust (  She lives in Poland and recently wrote a blog about her experience at a gym in Warsaw.  This blog posting is called “Americans Don’t Do Naked Well.” She talked about how immodest the European women are ~ how they are comfortable in their own skin, showing their bodies.  They can stand and have a conversation together all while be butt, ass naked!  I enjoyed reading her blog and remembering my own experiences with European’s confidence in their own bodies.  People of all ages, with all different shapes of bodies freely walk around beaches or pools topless and in speedos

Last night got me thinking about that blog and how my own modesty affects life here in our house.  I can say most anything, tell you whatever you probably don’t want to hear, act goofy, dance around, look like a fool but my kids won’t, willingly, see me naked.  Zach and Lucas do practice the “knock and walk,” where they knock and then proceed to walk in without waiting for the “come in” from me ( I have talked about this little issue on my blog before). I have told them they will be scarred for life if they keep walking in on me while I am changing my clothes.  I have no problem talking to them about sex, drugs, drinking, debauchery…but let them see me naked?  NO WAY!!  Last night, though, got me to wondering why it’s so taboo for me.

I really wanted to take a bath last night.  I wanted to sink down in the warm water of our big ol’ tub in our bathroom.  I wanted to relax and chill out.  My parents had just left after a nice dinner together.  Stan was off playing hockey, the boys were upstairs playing x-box and Claire was getting herself ready for bed.  I started running my tub when Claire walked in and said “OH, Mom!  When you’re finished will you keep the water in the tub so I can get in?”  She loves a good bath as much as I do.  I was more than happy to let her in on my little bit of bliss in the form of a good, hot bath.

As I was lounging in my tub, I realized I was lonely and bored.  I love taking baths, yes, but I also like company or something to do.  I like to read a book.  I didn’t bring one into the bathroom with me, I forgot it.  I like to chat with Stan.  I like it when we can sit back and chat, surrounded by warm water and the jets of the tub making a soothing humming noise…kind of like sitting in a jacuzzi only it’s in our bathroom.  Rather than going for a book, I went and got Claire.  “Put on your swimsuit and meet me in the tub,” I said.  I told her to bring all of her lotions and potions so she could wash up after I got out.  I put on my suit and climbed back in the warm water of our big ol’ tub with my daughter.  We sat and chatted and had a relaxing time together.   No more being lonely and bored, I had Claire to keep me company.

But part of me wondered if I was being too modest.  We both changed into our bathing suits in our own rooms and headed to the tub after said swim suits were in place.  Isn’t it OK for mothers and daughters to see each other naked ~ not necessarily in the tub in our bathroom but in general?  What about a big ol’ tub at a spa?  Is that OK?  I am perfectly comfortable climbing into a tub at a spa with no clothes on, provided my towel is close by and I can reach it when needed.  But what if Claire was with me or, goodness forbid, I was with my own mother?  I can’t imagine that.  I am always amazed, and a little in awe, at the mothers and daughters who feel comfortable enough with each other to be immodest.  That’s not me.  I don’t mind walking around in my bathing suit but I really would rather not be in my birthday suit.  I’m not sure why I have so many hang-ups about being naked.  It’s not like my body looks much different without a swimsuit or underwear on…for goodness sake.  I am trying to become a little less modest but I don’t know if I can power through it.  I don’t want Claire to grow up having hang-ups or thinking she needs to be ashamed of her body.   I think that’s a pretty high price to pay for being modest. 

But God help us all if I ever get over this modesty thing!  If I can or do most anything all the while maintaining my modesty hang-up what would I be like if I shed my modesty mantle and still said or did whatever pops into my head??  OH, dear…it would be a scary, scary place in our house!  Maybe the price of my modesty is good!

Oh, for the love of my children….

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