We’re at the San Diego Zoo, waiting in line for the double decker bus tour when my eight-year-old son begins rubbing my arm. I’m wearing very short sleeves and his light touch is a pleasant distraction from the long wait.
A few minutes later, I become aware that he’s leaning close to my arm—my elbow to be precise. “Mom, did you know you have globby skin back here?” He tugs the skin and stretches it an inch from its home. I resist the urge to yank my arm from his prying hands and look around to see if all our neighbors saw my Stretch Armstrong skin.
“Her arms are gooshy too,” my middle son loudly chimes in. Apparently, my arms have inspired a new word. Her arms are gooshy too, I mimic silently to myself, wagging my head. Who taught these kids about honesty anyway? It’s highly ove .
It’s then I become aware that my youngest is not really caressing my arm. More like squeezing the back of it gently. I realize he’s been doing this all along, as if he finds the texture intriguing. Like one of those stretchy pillows filled with tiny Styrofoam balls that you think you can squeeze just once, but then once you do, you can’t stop.
Okay, so maybe my arms are a little . . . softer than they used to be but does that mean I qualify as a human squish toy? Apparently so. Nonetheless, I have declared arm-squeezing off limits. And all skin is going to remain right where it is. Gravity is doing enough stretching, thank you very much.