For a week my son had been waiting for the new Lego Club magazine with all the vigor of a dirty old man sitting on a park bench watching for the next caboose to jiggle by. I could almost see him licking his chops, chuckling in creepy delight.
When my son revealed to me that this new magazine had a naked girl in it, I knew better but he couldn’t be swayed. “She’s naked and they show her back and her butt,” he giggled in delight.
The boys at school had already brought in their copies. I could just see them huddled around this fantastical image of something they thought they were seeing, pointing and whispering at things that surely weren’t there, hiding this golden gem when the teacher walked by.
Each day after school, my son groaned when his magazine turned up absent in the mailbox.
I asked him why he was so interested anyway. The answer? Simple. He wanted to see a naked girl. Son, you and most of the rest of the boys in the world.
He said he knows what he looks like. And it’s been many years since he’s walked in on me getting dressed. As hard as it is when your kid starts thinking about that, it’s normal. It’s innocent. What is so secret and hush-hush? Kids are curious. And when you think you see something in a magazine that you’re not supposed to see, that makes it all the more tantalizing.
When my son’s magazine finally did come, I handed it to him and he took off wearing a smile. He tore through the pages and I heard those giggles again.
What did I find when I came to inspect this naked lady in all her bare-bottomed glory? A 1×2-inch photo of the Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides cover. The woman was the size of my thumbnail. I needed a magnifying glass to see her parts.
Good grief. Males. Idiots.
I went online and blew up the photo, along with his dreams. “Do you see this picture?” I asked him. “Do you see what she is?”
“A mermaid,” my son answered.
“Yes, that’s not her butt. There’s no crack. She has a fish tail.”
His face went blank. For a second.
“She still doesn’t have anything up top,” he countered.
I guess sometimes you don’t have to see to believe.