In My Ohio

​On Finding Positives in My Son's Streaking Habits

Darren C. Demaree
​It will be a calm summer night, you will have your beer or your iced tea sweating in your hand, and instead of a shooting star teasing even more wonder into a great evening, you will see my son, Thomas, racing past you bare-ass naked.
Being naked is his favorite thing in the world right now. He’s two-and-a-half years old, and he’s potty training, so he gets to be naked a lot. Once he gets naked, he touches his penis to make sure it’s still there, and then he runs like a crazy person all over the house. If the door were open he would book it toward the neighbor’s house for sure.
I respect his love of being naked. I’m thirty-four and it’s been at least a decade since I’ve done any real naked running. That sort of thing can get a man arrested, and since my previous attempts went unnoticed in my misspent youth, I fear the karma of trying it again at this point. So, I revel in the joy Thomas has found in it.
My idea (and granted it’s a rough sketch of an idea) is that we start running him naked for charities. I think we should fundraise for cancer research or the local debate team’s trip to Washington D.C. We could raise a dollar from each donor for each naked lap he runs around the house. I say we put him outside, his diaper left inside, and we just let him loose. He can run and giggle and pee in the bushes and raise money for a good cause all at the same time.
Excellent and hilarious idea aside, this experience is his favorite thing right now because it brings him actual joy. Being naked should bring you joy. He’s got this one right. Other than his marveling at the fact that he, indeed, has a penis, it’s great that he is so happy and proud when he is naked.
I understand that he will eventually have to put clothes on. He will eventually be potty trained, and leave the diapers behind. It will get cold again outside, and cold and naked is no way to go through life. His joy in being naked will change. It will get reined in, and he will find some good qualities in clothes at some point. However, for now, I like the idea of him feeling that his body is a good and silly thing.
He feels strong and fast when he’s naked. That is something he can carry further into his youth. That laugh, that freedom, and the idea that he is beautiful in any way is something important. So, do not be surprised if you see a small white streak zoom across your lawn. All that will mean is that Thomas is once again feeling like nothing will ever get in his way again. If you see me limping behind him, know that I will need a little help cornering him to take him home.