I’m excited to announce that Sioux Roslawski won the Parenting True Confessions contest with her story that is published below. I think that you all will get a big kick out of this story! If you didn’t know about the contest, you can read about that here.
When I was preparing to take my 14-year-old son to France for a visit to see my sister, my husband (who was not going and who mocked anything French) told my son two things in his determination to horrify him.
“You know, Ian, that all guys have to wear Speedos in France. It’s the law. You won’t get to wear your swimming suit. They’ll make you wear a Speedo.” Ian’s mouth gaped open, but I tried to assure my son that his father was crazy. Yes, the French do have a peculiar attraction to Speedos, but free choice was still alive and well in Europe.
“And also, in France the women go topless on the beach. Your mom will go topless, too.” That one made Ian’s eyes bulge out so much, I worried they were going to pop out of their sockets. I quickly said that under no circumstances would I be taking off my swimsuit top.
Of course, hubby’s tactics didn’t dissuade my son from going. He and I had a delightful time. We walked in the shadow of the Pyrenees; we ate lots of cheese and fresh-baked bread and snails straight out of the garden. We swam in an ice-cold lake in water that rushed down from the mountains. We spent days on the Atlantic beach; and as planned, I never was topless. Our trip was absolutely perfect in every way…
… until the day we decided to go to the water park. We’d packed a lunch, plenty of towels, sunscreen, hats and sunglasses. Our suits were on under our clothes. As we pulled up to the entrance, I read the sign: Only Speedo-style suits for boys/men. No shorts and no cut-off jeans allowed.
We tried to plea our case. We were Americans. We didn’t bring a variety of suits. Could they make an exception? My sister and I begged. I kept glancing back at the Ian and my nieces, huddled in a group by the car.
No, they couldn’t make an exception for us, but they could make an accommodation. They would be glad to rent Ian a Speedo. Rent a swimsuit? Rent a skin-tight suit that God-only-knows how many guys had worn? What would my darling boy say when I told him he’d have to put on a suit that had likely held thousands of other guys’ junk? Would he refuse to wear it? (I shuddered to contemplate how infrequently it had been laundered.)
Well, to keep our afternoon pleasant, I lied. I told Ian I bought the Speedo and that we’d throw it away when we left the park. And when he wasn’t looking, while the rest of the group was putting stuff in the car, I returned the suit to get my deposit back.
A bunch of guys’ junk-holder is another guy’s horror…
Sioux Roslawski is a writer and an 8th grade teacher. She has been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul; and in 2017, she took part in “Listen to Your Mother.” She is currently working on a middle-grade historical fiction novel and blogs for WOW! Women on Writing. To read more about Sioux and her writing, visit her website here.