I recently arrived back home after visiting my mother. It feels strange to call this place home after having spent my first ever clothes free time with my mom as an adult. The time we had together made for a special kind of bond in a beautiful atmosphere of simply being.
I had taken vacation time to go visit her down. Over the course of several conversations prior, we decided to try my being clothes free in her presence during my visit. We also committed to going to a clothing optional outdoor space.
I got to her late on a Monday night. As always, there was an immeasurable amount of excitement in the air for the reconnection. We always scream and jump in each others’ arms when we first see each other at the airport. We grab arms and pinch cheeks just to make sure it’s real: Yes, we are both here.
We arrived at her apartment and chatted into the wee hours of the morning. Part of that chat involved discussing some clothes free things. She gave me the green light to sleep clothes free on the futon in the living room. I didn’t want to rush things, so I waited until bed time to disrobe. Once I could hear her steady sleeping breath, I tossed off my dress and dove under the covers with a giant smile. There was I was sleeping clothes free in my mom’s apartment. Life was good.
Morning came, and I knew it was time to stand before mom clothes free. She was still asleep for some time. I thought, “So, how do I do this without shocking her to death or making it weird?” I took some time to walk around the apartment, letting my feet feel the carpet and the cool kitchen floor. I stood near a tall sliding glass door that faced out into a pedestrian walkway and traffic. I went upside down and breathed. Time seemed to move quickly, so I hopped back under the covers, but sat upright and worked away on the laptop. Only my shoulders were exposed, but the general hint being, “Yes, I am naked under here.”
Finally, I heard shuffling. “Deep breaths,” I told myself. “Just be.” From her room she announced a joyful, “Good mornng!!!” I returned the salutation, waiting for her to make an appearance. She crept out and rounded the corner in her pajamas. Another deep breath.
“Hey! That really does just look natural,” she remarked with her chin resting on her hand as she took in the image of me sitting there. I looked over and smiled. She made her way into the kitchen to prepare her morning tonics, and we chatted like we always do. That made me feel comfortable, for her to make that observation and then to return to life as usual.
I was nervous to get up and show my full body. “What will she think? Will it freak her out? Will she think I’m crazy? Or gross??” I stalled for a bit. As things would have it, nature gave me a kick in the pants by filling my bladder to the top. When I couldn’t wait any longer, I gave a quick pause in our rolling conversation and said, “OK, I’m going to get up now. I have to go to the bathroom.”
“OK!” she said. Finally I got up, and as I marched over the bathroom while mom bent over and searched for items in the refrigerator. After I came out, I kept myself standing, fully exposed as I set up for yoga practice. Finally, Mom looked over at me and remarked, “Wow, yeah, it really is just…natural.” I smiled. “See, yeah, this is so helpful for me,” she said. “I have so many hang ups around my body. I won’t even go naked in a locker room, even if all the other women of all ages, shapes and sizes are naked. I see you and it really is just natural. It makes me think there is nothing to be afraid of.”
Over the course of my visit my mom became increasingly comfortable with my being clothes free in her presence. We chatted, she in clothes and me naked, with the same joy and enthusiasm as always. We laughed, we screamed, we hugged.
She shared many beautiful reflections on how healing it was for her to be with me while I was clothes free. Ever since she could remember, she always had a lot of shame around her body. There were stretch marks, and moving bits that seemed to have a mind of their own. She hid much of herself when around others. So much of her life had been filled with a kind of fear and shame. As I think about it, it makes sense; she has endured many traumatic experiences that stemmed from her appearance. I will never forget something she said to me over the phone when we were talking about the possibility of my being clothes free during the trip. She said, “I don’t want to spend the next 50 years of my life living in shame. I don’t want to be afraid anymore.” This was a process of healing for her, to see how being just as one is can be wholesomely naturally wonderful. It is safe.
My mother didn’t strip and prance around clothes free, but I will tell you this: she noted that not once during our time together did she wear makeup. For my mom, this is HUGE. For as long as I’ve known her, my mom has never left the house without “putting her face on.” It was simply unfathomable. Beyond the desire to be artistic was a feeling that she didn’t feel whole and complete without it. She couldn’t be that kind of naked. During that week, though, she put her tools aside and walked out fresh. She put her true self out there, she showed others her naked face.
A few days ago I told her how much the visit helped me find my footing, strength and confidence again. She replied, “When you were here, I felt like I was with a dear friend.”