By the time that we begin our adolescent years, the overwhelming majority of us understand the importance of having a routine in our lives. This structure allows us to not only plan our day but instills in us a sense of time. For example, I know that once I’m awake in the morning, it usually takes me about 50 minutes to eat my first breakfast, shower and shave my face and head. Then, I’m ready to get dressed (if it happens to be a workday) and then get on my way.
My parents explained to Alex, my identical twin brother, and I the importance of having the self-discipline of having a regular routine in our lives and adhering to it. Neither one of us paid very close attention to their lectures. After all, we were just children and we really weren’t supposed to be all that attentive.
Then we were sent off to boarding school. How very quickly those “parental directives” became the salvation of not only our souls but our very survival. Anyone who has experienced fifty children trying to fit under twelve shower faucets, all at the same time, can attest to the need for self-discipline and a functioning routine. Yes, we were pleasingly bare, but not when packed together like sardines!
Our shower routine was only the beginning of the day. As our days at the Virginia School for the Deaf progressed, it increasingly became apparent that what our parents urged on us was the sacred truth! We needed the support of a structured routine. Our lives and survival on this alien campus, away from home and the protection of our parents and older siblings, depended on our conforming to our parental admonishments.
While Twin and I were living at home, we were permitted, after endless punishments and consequences from our parents, the freedom of complete nudity while we were inside our shared bedroom. Anywhere else inside the house, we were expected to wear clothing. At our residential school, this privilege of being bare wasn’t possible nor allowed. The loss of this freedom was sorely felt by the both of us. Wearing clothes was too boring!
We quickly adapted to this changed situation when we discovered that if we developed a daily routine and strictly followed it, our afternoons afforded us time to explore the campus of our school. The woods that were on the school site provided us an endless resource for private spaces where we could strip off our clothing and roam bare. It didn’t take us long to discover this possibility and make it work in our favor.
This realization also offered us additional benefits. As we made friends with our school-mates, we invited them to join in our nude expeditions. The more the merrier, right? Before the end of the academic year, we had developed a “bare club” that consisted not only of our class-mates, but also like-minded students a year ahead of us and a year behind. All Deaf and all bare!
Perhaps our parents really knew what they tried so hard to instill in us!