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A Child’s Perspective

Last Summer I babysat my neighbour’s ten-year-old daughter named Katelyn. Every now and then I’d have to pop into Bare Oaks with her to pick up a speaker for a Yoga class. The first time that we went I forgot to mention where we were going until we were in the driveway. She was pretty shocked by the nude people, and I told her it would be ok to close her eyes, and it would also be ok if she wanted to open them if she felt brave. By our second pop in, she kept her eyes open and boasted that she felt totally fine with it. By our third pop in, she got out of the car and helped me carry the equipment into the clubhouse, which I’m sure had everything to do with her burning curiosity versus feeling helpful. I rewarded this curiosity with a slushie.

“Can you bring me back to Bare Oaks to get a slushie?” she asked soon after.

Amused I said, “You know we can get a slushie just about anywhere, right?”

“Ya, but I like the flavours they have.”

Her Mom was there during this exchange, and she asked me to please take her daughter to Bare Oaks for the day. It quickly became a favourite destination and I observed that she always seemed timid as we arrived but acclimatized within minutes. Below is a fictional story I’ve written from her perspective to practice my short story writing skills:

This time as we passed the naked cartoon people on the driveway I wasn’t scared. I was being a wimp last time. Nikki said that even adults get scared their first visit. I’m in the double digits now and I’m only a wimp about things the first time.

As soon as Nikki stepped out of the car, she started to take her clothes off. She makes it look so easy. She has nice boobs. I hope mine end up like that. Seeing her dark pubic hair is still weird, I try not to look but it’s hard not to. I never see it anywhere else, except my own. I don’t know how I feel about mine. It’s ok, I guess. Her stomach looks a bit fatter without her shirt on, which actually makes me feel better about showing my body.

She’s already naked and talking about sunscreen and I’m just starting to take my clothes off. I feel awkward about it. I fold my underwear into my shorts so nobody will see them if they peek into our car and fold my t-shirt slowly. I never usually fold my clothes, but I’m taking my time. Taking my clothes off in a parking lot isn’t something I do everyday.

A naked man walks by and gives us a smile and a wave. I see his penis swinging and it makes me want to laugh. But if I laughed at every penis I saw I’d be in hysterics all day. Try to be cool Katelyn. I remind Nikki about the slushies and she agrees that we can go there first. I like her as my babysitter. Or nanny, nanny sounds less babyish. I’m holding my towel against me, I do have it slid down a bit, so my boobies are showing just a little, I’m doing alright. I’m warming up. And my butts showing. The towel is my protector.

A lady walking a dog passes us and she’s almost twice the size as Nikki. Just wearing a hat. People really are comfortable here no matter their fatness or their thinness. That’s part of the reason I like it here. Everybody just does what they want. And I like their slushies.

I wish I could live here. Or be the next owner and just be here all the time. Mom’s been here once but now that she lost weight, she feels shy. All that salad and chicken for nothing. My Dad said he’d come, but not at the same time as me. Thank God! I’d definitely hurl if I had to see his…thingy. Ew. So gross. Can’t stop thinking about it now. Ew.

Yay, they have my favourite red slushie! I think I’m going to mix it with the coffee one. Nikki says that it won’t taste good, but I think it will. Red and coffee swirl it is. This day is starting out pretty good. I already feel like a regular here. I wonder if kids can get memberships?

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