Today, as it was so hot, I decided to go and visit my girlfriend and her 4-year-old where they live in the gorgeous seaside town of Rowayton, Connecticut. Rowayton is around 45 miles from New York City on the Long Island Sound. It is a sleepy aquatic sailing town which is one of the most expensive communities in the United States to live.
My girlfriend took me and Miles Storm to the local Bayley Beach, which is private that only residents of the town can visit. There is security at the entrance to the car park, and if you do not have a town issued sticker on your car you are not allowed in. The beach is really gorgeous. The water was clear, the sand was nice, there is a well-kept playground for the children to play in, volley ball court, basketball court, tennis courts, a band-stand area with picnic tables and a really nice café.
I would love to live in a place with such a beautiful beach available for my family to use at any time. That is one of the many things I miss about not being home in Australia, we never get to the beach living in New York and my Son will not experience that True-Blue Aussie vibe of being in the Ocean a lot!
Everything was going wonderfully, until as I was walking over to the café following Miles, 2 workers at the beach (who were around 15 years old) called out to me. When I acknowledged them, I was told that I had to put bathers on Miles which was really surprising to me? I had forgotten to take bathers for him, but either way we have him naked in the water a lot so it was not a big deal to me.
I have always heard that, generally speaking, Americans are weird about Little Ones being naked at the beach but I was still shocked to be experiencing it first-hand. Coming from laid-back Australia, as far as I remember, it is considered normal and okay for Little Ones to be naked as long as they have a hat and sunscreen on of course; it is a pure positive and beautiful thing! Not to mention, Europe where women sunbake topless! So why does the good old USA have such a problem with it? You tell me.
I was quite taken aback at the situation, so calling their bluff I said that it not the law that my Son had to be in bathers and there was nothing that they could do about it. Which they quickly responded that it is not the law, I was right, but they had a weird guy hanging around the beach. A weird guy? Okay, well it is a private beach and everybody who enters has to have a town registered sticker on their car so you must know who this person is, right? Personally, I feel that they were not expecting me to challenge them about it, and that the story about the strange guy was made up right there and then to cover their tracks when they saw how I responded. My girlfriend, who is European, said that the beach employees always give her a hard time if her Little One is not wearing bathers.
I mean, do we assume our children are going to get hurt or do we send positive vibes and know that they are going to be okay. Personally, I prefer not to be paranoid and enjoy the beauty of Miles Storm being able to go naked at the beach, especially if I am standing right next to him to protect him. I do not think that everybody out there is someone who may harm my child. On the other hand, why do people even care to interfere? Or find it offensive in any way? If it bothers you that much just look elsewhere.