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Amusing family nudism story

From: (PicxMan)
Date: 17 Feb 1997 03:57:58 GMT

Here's an amusing little memory that my two kids reminded me of recently. Happened last summer. Hope some of you get a laugh or two from it.

I'm a single parent with two sons, aged 6 and 8. We are nudists, at least around the house. Because we live in a fairly remote area, I let the kids play outside in a considerable expanse of backyard on the perimeter of some woodlands.

This happened one warm and somewhat muggy day last summer, a day or so after a rainfall. Jason and Chris were kicking a soccer ball around the yard. Because of the rain, there was a huge area of very muddy, bare ground not too far away. I had advised them to stay away from it, mostly because I wasn't sure how deep it was or what nasty surprises might have been in it. I was reading a magazine on the porch.

Either by accident or intent (and I've never been entirely sure which), the soccer ball went flying into the mud. Next thing I heard was "Daaaaad!" coming from my boys. I looked out, and they pointed over to the mud. The soccer ball was about half-buried. The kids were all innocent eyes and mischievous grins. At this point, I figured, "What the hell". If nothing else, I wasn't going to go in after it. So, playing along, I said in a semi-stern voice, "Well, go after it!"

Which they did. Not that they brought it out very quickly (their "excuse" later being that I hadn't specifically told them to). The mud came about halfway up to their knees, and was pretty thick, but not so much so that they couldn't move around fairly easily. At first they started kicking the soccer ball around, which resulted in a lot of mud flying around as well, of course. But before long, the soccer ball was essentially forgotten, and the mud started flying in earnest. Both Chris and Jason were kneeling in the mud at this point, the better to have access to throwable handfuls.

After a while, realizing it was a little easier to get oneself muddy than throw it at the other, and since I hadn't raised any verbal objections (I was too busy trying not to laugh out loud), they started rolling around in it, crawling around, and probably would have attempted to swim had it been a bit deeper.

I let this go on for the better part of half an hour, maybe a little longer, when I called them out for dinner. Of course, I gave them a thorough cleaning with the garden hose. I didn't say a word of either approval or objection to them. However, later that night, they both thanked me for letting them play in the mud. And, I confess, I "allowed" it to happen a few more times that summer.

What brought it up? It rained yesterday. Of course, it's still too chilly to let them play in any mud that might develop. How does this relate to nudism? Well, it strikes me as a harmless enough activity for any kids to enjoy -- but the advantage of letting kids play in the mud nude is -- all you have to do is clean the KIDS -- no nasty laundry woes! :)

Response to this little tale welcome via e-mail. Might share similar stories with my kids. They're probably looking for new mud-based activities for this summer.

Another amusing story

From: (PicxMan)
Date: 8 Mar 1997 22:30:37 GMT

Recently I posted the tale of how my two kids (we're all nudists, at least on our own property) "accidentally" wound up in a large muddy area behind our property last year.

Well, we had our first really warm day here today -- it's been getting better all week -- and Jason and Chris wanted to go outside and play in the mud. I told them that this wouldn't be possible, since it hadn't rained recently, and the ground was bone dry.

Never underestimate the determination of a couple of kids. They asked if they could use a shovel and the garden hose, like I couldn't figure out what they were up to. I said "Yes," and retired to the upper-level patio to see if they could make good on their obvious intentions.

Well, they did. After about an hour of shoveling dirt out of the area, they turned the hose on it, flooded the small ditch they'd made, and stirred in a fair portion of the extra dirt they they had initially shoveled out. And in they went, and proceeded to throw handfuls of mud at each other until both were pretty well covered.

As a "reward" of sorts, I tossed a beachball in from the patio, which resulted in a peculiar game which can probably best be called "mud-soccer-volleyball". I let thus go on for the better part of the afternoon before calling them out, putting the garden hose to an entirely different purpose -- cleaning them off -- before letting them back in the house.

Overall, a good day for the kids.

Halloween story

From: (PicxMan)
Date: 8 Mar 1997 22:46:34 GMT

Well, my kids caught me posting "Another amusing story" and wanted me to share the tale of their last Halloween. Now, we live in a fairly isolated area, and there's not a lot of people around. And obviously, I don't send them trick-or-treating in the nude. But painting them (with them wearing shorts) is another matter, especially since last Halloween was fairly warm around here. Fortunately, the few people around here do know these kids.

Jason and Chris are super-hero fanatics, and it's a good thing Daddy is an artist. Jason wanted to go as Superboy, whose costume is a lot more complicated than it used to be. Best description would be black shoulders, blue shirt with sleeves, red leggings, and black boots. And that infamous "S" symbol, which is the first thing I painted on the kid in case my hands gave out. I'm not used to having a drawing surface that isn't flat, but IS ticklish! So, wearing a pair of swim shorts (essentially speedos), and a pair of old shoes that could be painted black as well, Jason was transformed into Superboy.

Chris wasn't any easier. He wanted to be turned into "Enzo" from the series "Reboot". At least in this case, Enzo wears bid red sneakers, so there was no need to "disguise" the footwear. He also wears a red cap, which we had. Enzo's face and hands are green, and he wears a white shirt with a big "10" on it, blue sleeves and pants, and yellow pads on the shoulders, elbows, and knees. There's also this narrow red stripe down the side of his pants.

Needless to say, they were the hit of the neighborhood, and the kids loved every minute of it, but that was a whooole lot of skin paint down the drain (literally) at the end of the night. It was worth it, though.

An amusing tale

From: (PicxMan)
Date: 12 Apr 1997 21:18:57 GMT

I've posted a couple of stories ont his board, about how my two kids who, along with yours truly, their daddy, are part-time nudists (mostly in the privacy of our home and property), and how they discovered, about a year ago, a large expanse of mud that crops up in our backyard after a good rain.

We now have a new event to report -- not mud-related, but -- well, hope it's good for a laugh, anyway.

I made the mistake of sleeping in this morning, and Jason and Chris (ages 7 and 9 -- almost), were up well before I was. Generally, they go clothes-free all day Saturday, and this was no exception. However, they also discovered their father's brand-new can of Gilette "Foamy" shaving cream.

By the time I discovered THEM, it was all I could do to keep from whistling "Frosty the Snowman" a couple of times over. It was too funny to get angry over, and at least they'd stayed in the bathroom. I got the camera. The stuff cleaned off easily enough by putting the kids in the shower, although they DID have a fresh menthol scent about them the rest of the day -- ! :)

Another tale of my kids

From: (PicxMan)
Date: 23 Apr 1997 14:35:39 GMT

Well, so far I've posted stories about my kids (we're all part-time nudists) and their adventures in a large expanse of mud in our backyard, being painted in costumes for Hallowe'en (wearing shorts), and having some laughs with a can of shaving foam. We've got a new one, folks.

I let Jason and Chris out in the backyard to play this past weekend. This time, they were clothed. We've been hosing down the muddy area so much that I'm starting to get worried about causing erosion. I told them to go explore the woods or something. There's a small forest in our area, but not so large as they'd get lost, and they know better than to go too far. I could hear them talking and giggling from the porch (nice thing about living in a remote area that's known for its QUIET!), but after about half an hour or so, I heard a strange, echoing, thumping sound. I decided to investigate.

Following the sound, I found my kids in about ten minutes. They were now stark naked, absolutely filthy (not muddy, just a lot dirtier than they could have gotten without some deliberate effort), and were beating on a large hollow log with rocks. I asked them what they were doing.

Jason looked at me and, struggling to keep a straight face (Chris was already giggling), said, "We play caveman!" Then they went back to beating on the rock and grunting every so often. I went back to the house, got the camera, snapped a few pictures, and finally said, "Okay, cavemen, time for your bronto-burgers. Where'd you put your clothes?" They were inside the log. I asked them how they'd gottem so dirty so quickly. They'd found the remnants of somebody's campfire (and I think the neighbors' kids down the street had done a little camping expedition the weekend before) and had smeared themselves with soot, as well as crushed leaves (which explained the green streaks). I let them be "cavemen" for a while longer, as long as they stayed outside and washed their HANDS before eating. But cleanup was a little more difficult than the mud this time, and I not only had to hose them off, but throw them bars of soap outdoors, as well.

This -- THIS is what I get for letting them grow their hair long ("like Daddy's") and doing that series on the scientific theories of the origins of man in their home-school sessions...! :)

Another amusing tale of my kids...

From: (PicxMan)
Date: 29 Apr 1997 20:56:49 GMT

Well, I know a number of you have enjoyed the stories of my part-time nudist kids, and that have taken the time to e-mail me, so I thought I'd keep posting on occasions when I have some sufficiently funny stories. And, it seems I have another one.

These kids seem to take their cues lately from whatever we're studying in their home-school lessons. Recently it was "early man" or something, which resulted in the "caveman" episode I related recently. After I wrapped that up, I decided to turn to a lesson on modern military.

Now, these kids get almost as much of a kick out of face paint (which sometimes extends all the way down to their toes) as they do playing in the mud (nice thing about these activities is that they're generally inexpensive. Mud costs nothing, and although the face/skin paint does, at least I don't have to buy fancy acrylic paints and a large canvas or huge pads of paper). So of course they were intrigued by the camouflage paint that soldiers often use. And, of course, they wanted to be that much more extensive with it.

So, on a recent day when there was nothing of any importance to do (I try to arrange for such days at least once a week), it turned into "Let's play soldier". Following the face-paint and uniform camouflage patterns as closely as possible, both kids were turned into a couple of fully camouflaged nudists -- whth the exception of their hiking boots and bicycle helmets, which doubled for proper military gear. That and their Super Soaker squirt guns.

This time, I made sure that they didn't go too far into the woods behind our house, because, although they are not prone to wandering far or getting lost, if they had on this occasion, it would have been next to impossible to find them. Fortunately, they were content to staying pretty much in the back yard while conducting their "maneuvers".

But I do have to wonder how long it takes for the average soldier to get those dark colors off of his face. Jason and Chris needed several good washings at the end of the day. Overall, though, another memorable adventure. :)

Future amusing tales of my kids?!

From: (PicxMan)
Date: 7 May 1997 06:08:10 GMT

I have been sharing the adventures of my two kids, Jason and Chris, ages 7 and 9, in here recently. Well, that number might grow by one soon. No, I'm not having another kid. Being a single parent not presently involved in a significant relationship rather precludes that.

My brother's son, Justin, who's also just about 7, is going to be spending the summer with us, and I am truly delighted. We have visited his family in the city on occasion, but he's never been out here. I don't intend to say WHICH city given my opinion of it. Don't want to insult any urbanites in here.

Suffice to say, I've NEVER liked urban environments, and this one strikes my as all too typical. Grey buildings, grey trees, pathetic plantlife, and a general air of depression over the entire scene. I love my brother, but how he and his wife could live like this, and raise their child in an environment like this, I don't know. We visited them last year for a couple of days, and Jason and Chris, as much as they enjoyed seeing their aunt, uncle, and especially cousin, were only too happy to leave.

To the best of my knowledge, Justin has never been out of the city. My brother's job doesn't allow him to make enough for any sort of decent vacation. I think they're finally anxious for Justin to get out for a while, though. According to his mother, "Last time he blew his nose, it came out grey!" Yeah, sounds like the kid needs to get out for a while. So, once school wraps up, he's going to get roughly three months of fresh mountain air, sunshine, fun in the great outdoors, and a chance to let nature clear out his lungs while there's still something left of them.

Here's the only real concern. My brother and his family are not nudists. They know that I and the kids are, on occasion, and I can hardly blame them for not wanting to be given where they live. I wouldn't want to disrobe in that area. I nearly invested in a bullet-proof vest. (Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating a BIT, but I HATE big cities!) Their take concerning Justin is, "If he wants to go nude, let him, but don't force him." Nor would I, nor would my kids.

I'm hoping he'll want to, but I don't intend to push him one way or the other. I'm trying to persuade my brother to let Justin stay on for a little longer. I really feel sorry for this kid. His parents would like to home-school him, but neither has the time, and the little guy has been beaten up several times in school, there is a gang problem in the older grades, and he's even been offered drugs. Thank God he wants nothing to do with it, but it's still a difficult situation, and his parents know it, but seem to be at a loss as to what to do. At any rate, we'll see what effect this has on the stories I've been sharing when he arrives in about three weeks.

A short amusing tale of my kids.

From: (PicxMan)
Date: 7 May 1997 18:03:07 GMT

Today they decided they wanted to go about "mostly" nude. Jason wore only a T-shirt (that infernal tie-dye thing that we picked up for the artistic painting reference), and Chris decided to wear a shoe and a sock -- on opposite feet.

I gotta find out what chemicals they're putting in Froot Loops. This was weird even for them...! :)

The latest amusing tale of my kids

From: (PicxMan)
Date: 10 May 1997 17:13:08 GMT

Hopefully this will be a pleasant counterpoint to all the "White America Under Siege" posts. What the heck is this nonsense doing in here, anyway?!

At any rate, the "Adventures in Paint" continue. Ever since I painted their Halloween costumes on them last year (they were wearing speedos for this), Jason and Chris have gotten a huge kick out of being painted. Good thing I'm an artist.

The two most recent episodes involved being painted in camouflage, which was interesting, and duplicating a tie-dye T-shirt all over them, which was probably my biggest artistic challenge to date of ANY sort.

So when they started talking about doing it again this weekend (and they always like to have ME do the actual work), I decided Daddy needed a break. So I suggested, "What would it be like if you were each painted one solid color?" It worked. They liked the idea. I let them choose the color. Possibly my only mistake.

Chris chose a sort of royal blue, not really dark blue, but not exactly a pale blue, either. If you stuck two antennae in his head, he'd look like one of those Star Trek Andorians with a sunburn or something.

Jason chose a rather alarmingly bright lemon yellow. I won't be losing track of HIM today, but I might need sunglasses to look directly at him.

My only concern is clean up. Sometimes there is a slight residue. And I'm afraid that when I take them to church tomorrow, somebody's going to think that Chris is suffering from a lack of oxygen, and Jason is jaundiced or something.

And Jason just came up to me and asked, "Dad, do you think they make skin paint in fluorescent colors or glow in the dark?"

Now, kids, it's not nice to say things that might make your father cry... :)

Regarding the amusing tales of my kids

From: (PicxMan)
Date: 10 May 1997 17:27:48 GMT

Which I suppose I should almost be putting in quotes at this point. E-mail response to these stories has been excellent, and completely positive.

Someone suggested I write a book, but I'm not sure there's really enough material for that. A short bunch of stapled papers of collected stories might be another matter, however.

I would want to wait on such a project until after my nephew Justin shows up for the summer, in a couple of weeks, to see what adventures he might add. But for those of you that have been enjoying these antics, what would you think about an assembly of their more prominent and pertinent adventures, going into a bit more detail than I really can in here?

Re: The latest amusing tale of my kids

From: (PicxMan)
Date: 11 May 1997 04:07:45 GMT

Never thought I'd do a follow-up to one of my own stories, but there's a first time for everything. We had a surprise rainstorm here this afternoon, a real downpour, but not a particularly cold rain. Jason and Chris, still painted up at the time, stayed out in it, running around like I'd turned on a sprinker or something (I hadn't, God had).

The rain was enough to wash away a fair portion of the paint. When they'd had enough, they came back inside to the entryway, and Jason had a big grin on his face. I knew he had SOMETHING on his mind. "Well?" I prompted.

"Guess what we are?" giggled Jason.

I suspected that answering "A couple of soaking wet boys dripping the remnants of skin paint on the towels I put on the floor for you" was not what they were looking for, so I just replied, "Okay, I give, what are you?"

"Streaked streakers!" laughed Jason, and Chris could barely contain himself. Neither could I, but I managed. Can't let them get away with puns like that too often. :)

Yet another Amusing Tale of my kids...

From: (PicxMan)
Date: 27 May 1997 21:13:08 GMT

Here's hoping this post might at least provide a pleasant break amidst the pornographers, white supremacists, and religion-bashers that really ought to take their garbage somewhere else. Enjoy. E-mail responses most welcome.

A while back I posted about how my "city nephew" Justin was coming to stay with me and my kids for the summer. (The three of us are part-time nudists -- especially my sons, Jason, 7 and Chris, 9, for first time readers.) The poor lad has been stuck in a dense and dismal urban environment for all seven years of his life. This is his first chance to get away from that for a while.

Well, his parents (my brother and his wife) decided to send him a little early. He'd somehow been doing well enough in school despite the environment so they were able to get him out, and the "final straws" were a bad cough that the kid had picked up that he just couldn't seem to kick, and that he got beaten up AGAIN by the school's pack of bullies.

Anyway, this weekend, he arrived, and spent the better part of the first day in open-mouthed wonder at his surroundings. He'd never seen anything like this wooded mountain environment except on television, and I think he thought it was special effects.

There was, of course, some concern regarding the fact that my kids and I are what I call "part-time" nudists, and Justin is not. His parents stressed that if Justin wanted to go nude at some point, it would be all right with them, but not to force him. Nor would I.

Leave it to my kids to find a hysterical way. Their favorite activity, of course, is playing in the mud, so they hosed down the area that normally turns muddy in a good rainstorm. We've found it works just as well with artificial means (although I'm starting to wonder how long this is going to last and if I should be worried about erosion). They, of course, went into the mud naked, which didn't bother Justin, but he seemed less inclined to either take off his clothes or get muddy.

Finally he took off his shoes and dipped his feet in. It was hilarious watching his eyes bulge out. Not much mud in the city, I guess. A big grin went across his face, and he stood up and started to walk in. Jason and Chris stopped him. "Look, you don't want to give our dad a bunch of dirty laundry, do you?" said Jason, while I, observing from the porch as usual, tried to keep a straight face. "At least take off some of those clothes. Do you want to get yourself muddy or the clothes?"

Justin was apparently torn between some level of reluctance and an equal desire to enjoy the mud. For the record, at this point in time I was not nude. Think what you will of this decision, but I didn't consider it entirely appropriate to be nude in front of a child who might not be entirely comfortable with the concept. I was wearing a T-shirt and swimming shorts.

Justin stepped out of the mud -- wiped his feet on the grass (!), and took off his shirt and pants, leaving his undershorts. That was apparently as far as he was willing to go. Then he headed out into the mud, which has been hosed down to a fair depth this time around (probably should check into that, too. Don't want to create a quicksand trap or something -- !)

I went to get the camera, seeing some potential additions to the family album, and when I had gotten back, a wrestling match had ensued. But Justin had to stand up at every break and pull up his thoroughly muddy (and increasingly heavy) undershorts. Finally, he apparently realized that this was a little ridiculous, that he was playing in the mud with two kids who weren't wearing anything, to whom he was related, and the only other life-form around was his uncle. So he lost the undershorts. Didn't bother to put them back on for the rest of the day, either, any more than my kids did. I think it's going to be a good summer.:)

P.S. His parents have indicated that if Justin likes it well enough out here, and if he does well enough participating in my kids' home-school lessons, they might let him stay on indefinitely if HE wants to, as well. I think they've had it with raising their kid in the midst of an increasingly unpleasant urban environment, and they'd probably pack themselves off if it weren't for their jobs. We'll see what happens.

A very WET Amusing Tale of my kids...

From: (PicxMan)
Date: 29 May 1997 23:15:16 GMT

Anybody remember squirt guns, or water pistols? Generally speaking, these were 39-cent pieces of translucent colored plastic that you filled with an eyedroppers' worth of water and they hand a range of about a foot. If it was hot enough outside, the water evaporated before it even hit the intended target.

Well, it seems there's been an upgrade in the past few years, courtesy of a company called Larami, that has produced a series of water guns called "Super Soakers", the largest of which is called the "CPS 2000". It's something like three feet long, looks like it was lifted from the prop department at Star Trek, and normally retails for about $30. It advertises being able to deliver a pint of water a second and comes with more warnings than the average tactical nuclear missile.

So naturally my kids wanted them. Fortunately, I just got my income tax refund, and Target was having a sale on these water-blasting bazookas, marking them to under $25, and I was darned if I was just going to buy one and have any of the three kids presently under my care, my sons Chris and Jason or my nephew Justin, have THAT kind of firepower superiority. I was also a little concerned about MYSELF. So attracting a fair amount of attention in the process, we bought four of these beasts. I told the cashier we were planning a neighborhood car wash.

I subsequently went over the instructions VERY carefully with the kids, especially the one about not firing it at close range in someone's face. We also tested one to see what it was capable of. This is one scary water gun, folks. I'm surprised my kids can handle it. The thing has a pretty good recoil kick, actually. One good solid squeeze on the trigger sends a pretty good deluge of water at considerable velocity. As such, a new rule was added. No shooting at the local wildlife. This thing could probably drown a squirrel.

I decided that I just didn't feel like a soaking, so I retreated inside and started preparing lunch. The kids, of course, were all naked. (It's been both surprising and pleasing to see how readily Justin has taken to this, but it's been hot around here lately). I kept an eye on them, of course. The one drawback to these guns, apparently, is a fairly frequent need for repumping (they're air-pressure powered) and refilling (of course, a larger reservoir would probably make it impossible for a really small child to lift). But that aside, I got a huge kick out of watching these three little nudists running around the backyard, blasting each other and getting completely soaked in very short order. I don't think they could have gotten wetter swimming. And I'd rather they play with these squirt guns than with water balloons. My own personal childhood experience with those things tells me they sting like heck.

My only concern is wondering what this Larami company is going to do next year if they expect to top this monster. I'm not sure I want to know what the Super Soaker 3000 is going to be like. :)

An Amusing/Amazing Tale of my Kids 1

From: (PicxMan)
Date: 8 Jun 1997 17:46:58 GMT

Why "Amazing" as well as amusing? Number of reasons. It's amazing to me how quickly Justin has "fit in" with his two cousins. I've already related the story of how they almost "tricked" him into playing in the mud and going nude. He apparently enjoyed it so much that he rather quickly lost most of whatever inhibitions he might have had about being naked. Of course, the fact that it's been ferociously and unseasonably hot and humid around here lately is likely another factor.

Then the weekend following his arrival, Jason and Chris decided they wanted to do the skinpaint bit again. We'd been studying animals during our homeschool lessons that week (and another amazing thing is how well Justin is doing with these), and -- well, you can guess the subject matter. But I was concerned as to whether Justin would want to go along with this, and I didn't want him to feel left out.

Jason and Chris explained the basics, and I showed Justin photos of some of the previous sessions. Amazingly, he got a big grin on his face and said, "That looks like fun!" The next step was to choose animals. Jason decided to be a tiger. Great -- one of the most complicated animals around. Chris chose to be a raccoon. I wasn't sure HOW to handle that. And Justin opted for a zebra. Thanks, kid, for taking it kind of easy on me.

I started with Jason. Painted him mostly orange, with white paws, chest, and facial details, then added the stripes. Chris took a little more innovation. He ended up painted grey, with black hands and feet (we were using a stuffed "Miko" from Pocahontas as a reference), white chest and muzzle, and black mask. The traditional ringed tail I painted up Chris' back. Then it was Justin's turn. I painted him white, causing Jason to remark, "You look like a whitewashed fence without the fence", and then added the stripes and some black facial details. If there's one advantage here, it seems Justin is slightly less ticklish then the other two boys. Either that or he was a little nervous. Until he got a good look at himself in the full-length mirror. Laughed himself silly.

Most of this past week continued to be hot-n-humid. I think the only time the kids wore a stitch of clothes was when we went shopping one day this week. Most of their time was spent thinking of ways to stay cool, which also generally meant wet. Several squirt gun fights, a number of cool evening baths (one with a somewhat excessive amount of Mr. Bubble), and a reasonably well-rigged outdoor shower consisting of a garden hose with a wide water sprinkler attachment tossed over a convenient tree branch all contributed to this. It was finally cooler Saturday, and the kids decided they wanted to get muddy again, which I approved. Basically just a lot of rolling around getting completely covered. They'd roll, stand up, and say, "You missed a spot on your (whatever)." They keep trying to think of ways to make the muddy area deeper, though.

But the most amazing thing of all happened Saturday night, and here's where the tale turns a little serious and has almost nothing to do with nudism. But it most certainly has to do with these kids and myself, and I know a good number of you are enjoying these stories, so I'm sharing it.

An Amusing/Amazing Tale of my Kids 2

From: (PicxMan)
Date: 8 Jun 1997 17:49:24 GMT

Justin's parents, my brother Mike and his wife, called. Asked how Justin was doing. I said fine, that he had been going naked quite a bit, which they apparently half-expected and I also threw in an explanation of the weather, and then I told them how well he was getting along with his cousins and how well he was doing in homeschool lessons. They asked to talk to him.

The kid was an absolute chatterbox for the better part of five minutes. Then he turned the phone back to me. There was something of stunned silence. "That was Justin?" my brother asked. "That's more than we've heard him say about anything for weeks!" There was a long pause. I could hear conversation in the background. Then my brother returned. "Jason, very seriously now, would you be prepared to have Justin stay on with you there?"

I was stunned, but readily replied. "Of course. For how long?" I was not prepared for the answer. "Well, you can kick him out when he's eighteen, but that's up to you." My jaw hit the floor. "You're kidding." My brother has a quirky sense of humor -- for an office executive -- but I couldn't quite believe this. He turned totally serious then. "Jason, this city just isn't safe for a child. Our jobs are here, and we feel we need to stay. But we also want what's best for Justin. And at this point, what's best for Justin isn't necessarily staying with his parents. He sounds happy there, he's certainly learning more, and he's got friends in his cousins. He has no one to play with here. And you're my brother, for God's sake. You've always been better with children than we have."

I didn't say anything, but I rather got the impression that my brother and his wife had almost regretted having a child, but now they still wanted to do what was best for him. I also found out, during the course of the conversation, that this was actually something they'd been thinking about for months, ever since me and the kids had visited them, and they'd seen how happy, healthy and intelligent Jason and Chris were. I was certainly prepared to accept the offer, since basically I agreed with it, but there was one matter to cover. "Justin needs to be part of this decision."

I had Justin pick up one of the extensions. I will not go into the details of the conversation, since I regard them as highly personal and as such rather private. Justin was crying his eyes out by the time it was over, but he also, in his heart, wanted to stay. His parents have promised to keep in very close touch with phone calls and letters and gift packages, which I know they will, and if at all possible, to come out here over the Christmas holiday.

The rest of the evening was spent in something of a group hug, trying to comfort a little boy who was sad and happy at the same time. So, Justin stays. We're expecting a load of boxes of most of his personal belongings in the next few days. Don't think he'll be needing the clothes too much. Justin's mood has wavered a fair bit, between making himself more at home than before, and missing his parents. The most frequent comment I'm hearing is, "I really love them, but I really hate that city. I'm glad I'm here. I just wish they were, too." He's adjusting.

Meanwhile, a VERY well-paying photo-and-graphics job I just completed (sorry, can't reveal the source) is going to give me enough reserve in the bank account to get that above-ground pool I've been considering without having to worry if there's enough for groceries afterwards. And given the present weather and recent events, I think it'll be just the thing. E-mail, as always, is most welcome. Thank you.

An Amusing Father's Day Tale of my Kids

From: (PicxMan)
Date: 16 Jun 1997 00:29:29 GMT

Leave it to my kids to come up with something both hysterical and incredibly touching for Father's Day. I had the feeling they were up to something when, as soon as they got up, they went into the playroom. I decided to play along (no pun intended) and went into the living room after bringing in the morning newspaper.

It was about half an hour later when they emerged, and as luck would have it, my back was turned when they came into the living room. "Dad?" called Jason. "We forgot to get you a card for Father's Day. Will this do?"

I turned around, and after a brief moment, fell on the ground in utter hysterics. The three of them were, of course, naked, as they have been for just about the entire summer (except when we have to go out, basically). But they'd gotten into the skin-paint. I suspect it was Jason who had done the work. He's not only the oldest, but the most artistically talented to date. All three had huge bright red neckties painted on them (and I wish I knew where they picked up THAT cliche), and there was white lettering on each tie. They were standing at attention, side by side, Chris, Jason, and Justin.

Chris' tie had the word "HAPPY" at the top in small lettering, with a huge letter "D" below it. Jason's read "FATHER'S" with a large letter "A", and of course, Justin's tie read "DAY" with another letter "D". Once I recovered from this, which took a while, I thanked the kids profusely, "Best Father's Day card I've ever seen!" and made them stand absolutely still while I got the camera.

Then came the more serious moment. I got careful hugs from the kids (red paint is not easy to get out of clothes, and I was wearing shorts and a robe at the time), and they all called me "Dad", including Justin. (For any new readers, Justin is actually my nephew who has come to live with us. A previous posting has the extensive details). This surprised me a bit, and I asked him, "You just called me 'Dad', you know."

Justin nodded, almost somberly, and said, "I've thought about it a lot. I'm going to call YOU Dad, too." I'm glad he said "too". I don't want him turning his back on his own parents. I gave Justin an extra close hug for that.

The rest of the day was very pleasant. The kids cleaned up (it seems to be that once Dad's taken pictures, the kids know it's okay to clean off the paint), we attended an early church service, and I took them to brunch at Denny's. Father's Days in the past around here have always been letting the kids decide what to do, as long as it includes Dad. Generally that means going someplace, since they can't drive. Today we went to Target -- the toy department, of course, and took in a matinee showing of "Lost World". Then we came home, and spent the rest of the afternoon in our nice new above-ground pool, all of us naked, by the way.

I should add here that these is something decidedly amusing about seeing a kid, in this case Justin, wearing swim fins, floaters around his arms (he swims well, but not quite as well as Jason and Chris just yet), a diving mask with a snorkel, and NO SHORTS. Justin's father, my brother, called this evening, and he and Justin had a good conversation. Justin wished him a Happy Father's Day, too, thank God.

Overall, a superb Father's Day.