By: Staff Reports | Gwinnett Citizen
By: Staff Reports | Gwinnett Citizen
Carole Townsend

Everything in life comes full circle
By Carole Townsend

I remember a saying that I’ve heard for years, something about life coming full circle.  To illustrate the point, so the saying goes, just look at man. He starts his life in diapers and very often, that’s the way he ends up.

I used to find the idea amusing, sometimes even darkly interesting. These days, however, I just find it a little sad (and very true). 

Why so pensive today? Oh, I’m not. I just conjured up a parallel thought this week. You see, my daughter and I are down at the beach for a few days. She is moving up north this summer to embark on an exciting new journey:  graduate school at a deliciously old and prestigious university. We’re so proud of her, and very excited for her, but she’ll be living about 10 hours away from us. I thought that a little girl time down at the beach was in order, and these days have indeed been fabulous.

However, I digress. We were talking about old men in diapers. I’m going to share something that the women out there will understand completely; the men, probably not. If you’re reading this and you’re younger than 50, I doubt that any of this will make sense. However, I encourage you to stay with me and to file this bit of information away, for it will make sense when you reach the half-century age mark.

For the first time in my life, I have bought not one but two of those swimsuits that has the little skirt at the bottom. They aren’t the skirts that hang down to about mid-thigh (though there are probably a few of those in my future, maybe in about 10 years or so). They just have a piece of fabric that flits and flutters in the wind, just enough to distract an onlooker from an area that, well, may not look quite how it used to look. And that’s OK. I’ve admired this type of swimsuit on other women for years.

Incidentally, I love them. They’re very comfortable, and I was very comfortable wearing them in public. That’s saying a lot, because the beaches are crawling with college kids this week. The girls are lithe and impossibly slender, and the guys are well muscled and trim. 

A few days ago, my daughter and I took a long stroll on the beach, and I noticed something that I had never noticed before. Most of the little girls I saw playing in the surf were wearing adorable swimsuits – with tiny skirts adorning the bottoms of them. The look is made all the more adorable because the skirt accentuates the thickness of the swim diaper that’s hidden underneath.

For some odd reason, the old saying about humans starting their lives in diapers and ending up wearing diapers occurred to me. It’s a stretch, I know – more amusing than sobering, I suppose. But still, I’m wearing the same style swimsuit as the 3-year-old little girl who’d sitting with her mommy and grandma just a few chairs down on the beach. Everything old is new again,  yes?

Oh well. The thought is interesting, but that’s about it. It’s the kind of strange notion that dances across a writer’s mind, out of left field and completely unbidden. Along that same line of thinking, though, I’ll also point out that many of the age 70 and above men we’ve seen walking along the beach are proudly sporting tight bikini swimsuits. I believe they are commonly referred to as “speedos.” Ten years ago, I would have enjoyed a private chuckle at the sight. Today, however, I simply think, “Good for you, mister.”

What goes around does, indeed, come around.

Carole Townsend is a Gwinnett author and freelance writer. She writes about family, from both a humorous and poignant perspective. Her newest book, MAGNOLIAS, SWEET TEA AND EXHAUST (July 2014, Skyhorse Publishing) takes a look at NASCAR from a Southern suburban mom’s perspective. She is currently writing her fourth book. Carole has appeared on local and national news and talk shows, including CNN, ABC, CBS and NBC affiliates. When not writing, she travels throughout the region, speaking to various civic and literary groups, and advocating for the health and well-being of the family, particularly women and children. For more information, visit www.caroletownsend.com.