After picking up the boys from school the other day, Older Boy asked:
“Daddy, why are naked pictures so popular?”
Well, here it is, I thought. Time to wade into the riptide of adolescence, explaining why boys feel “kinda funny” when they see attractive girls, and what the heck all those parts are for. Third grade is a little sooner than I expected, but kids are growing up faster these days after all, and I had to be able to cope, even if my knuckles were turning white around the steering wheel.
Before I swam into these swirling waters, I took the temperature of the ocean with my toe. “What kind of naked pictures?” I asked.
“Like Michelangelo,” said Older Boy. “Sculptures and paintings and stuff. Why are they always naked?”
“Ohhhhh,” I said. “Art.” Heartbeat resumed to normal, blood coursed through knuckles again. “Because bodies are difficult to draw. Back then, Michelangelo didn’t have superheroes and other fun stuff to draw, so he practiced on naked people.”
This answer satisfied, and the conversation turned to sports.