This summer, on my Ultimate Swedish Roadtrip, we've been hitting the beach. We've been hitting the beach on the 'West Side' in Bohus and south, we've been hitting the 'East Side' in Osterlen and then heading north. At the end of all this, I could write you quite a treatise on Swedish beachside towns.
But one of the things that I still sometimes makes my jaw drop a bit, beachside - but also makes me smile, because I think it is how it should be - all of those naked little kids running along the water's edge. And there are a lot of them. Little boys and little girls, diapers' stripped off, digging in the dirt.
The kids are little ones of about one, to bigger kids of about four or five.
When the girls get a little older, they run around in just a pair of bikini bottoms, no tops. Climibing in rocks, digging in the sand, kids being kids.
My first thought was, I admit, very American. 'What about all of the pedophiles?'
And then, I realized, it wasn't really a big deal at all. There was nothing here that could be exploited, the kids were just having a great time. Even if there were pedophiles lurking in the bushes, these kids were with their parents, playing and safe. They were getting a chance to be a kid and not have to worry about anything. And so, I watched as my Swede carried away my naked LO.
I watched them take a dip in the sea. And when I was done appreciating it, I also learned what a complete PITA it is to get rid of sand from all of those normally covered up areas.