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Me and my mum
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This photo was taken in 'Grange Gardens', a jewel of a little park in South Grangetown, just down the road from where I lived. Behind the railings is Pentrebane Street. The road outside the houses there had a lovely smooth tarred surface which was ideal for roller-skating, and I used to spend many a happy hour roller-skating on it with my younger sister and Kay and Ann Millard, who both lived around the corner from me.
 
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I'm a few months past thirteen here. Still wearing bloody short trousers! Note the white jumper I'm wearing. That was the cricket jumper my mum knitted for me for cricket in school when I was in form 1. Getting a bit tight now! Next to me is, of course, my dear mum. I'm surprised how tall she appears to be here, but in fact she was only 4ft 10 ins, which gives you some idea how small I was at the time!
 
Since the subject of my mother and I has now been raised, you might be interested in reading the following reminiscence I wrote recently. It may as well go here as anywhere else. You might think its subject matter rather strange, and a bit candid and personal, but I simply had to write it. Perhaps it will ring some bells with you, maybe as a mother, or as a son. What the hell! Here goes!  Every word is true, I assure you - or at least, this is how I remember it.
 

Mums, sons - and bathtime!

 

There are many milestones a boy passes as he grows to manhood. Some are quite pleasant. His first pint of beer bought in a pub, made all the more pleasurable if consumed under age - 'forbidden fruit' and all that. Others less so - the B.C.G. for example (an anti-TB jab usually performed at thirteen years of age. Yes I know girls had it too, but we'll let that pass.) One in my day was consigned to history not long after I'd been through it - a boy's transition from short trousers to long ones. And do you remember that final bittersweet ride you took on the swings in the local park, when you delayed getting off as long as you could, 'cos you knew that once you got off, you'd never be able to do it again 'cos you'd be 'too old' then to do that sort of thing anymore?

 

One milestone, though, is so benign and natural from the boy's point of view, that most boys pass it without realising they have, many not even being aware of its very existence. At the same time this milestone can be so traumatic for his mother since it confirms her son has taken another significant step on his journey to manhood - that world she knows she cannot follow him into - that it is not unknown for a strong woman who could give birth sideways with scarcely a murmur, to creep away to some small private place to have a little weep when it happens. This milestone occurs when a boy decides he isn't going to let his mum see his 'willy' anymore, usually indicated by him suddenly locking the bathroom door from then on to keep her out when he has a bath. Here's how it was with me.

 

I don't know about any other boy's experience, but throughout my early teens I often let my mum see me when I was completely naked, usually during my bathtimes. The fact was that even at the age of 14 and long since old enough to bath myself if I really wanted to, I still loved my mum to bath me instead, drying my naked body afterwards. These were things we had always done together at bathtime, and I always left the bathroom door open or unlocked to let her come in - which she always did - whenever I was having a bath. I wasn't the least bit embarrassed having her bath me or being in the nude with her present, even when I was going through puberty, and I loved the close intimacy of the whole exercise.

 

In my earlier years, it was usually my mum that decided when bathtime had come around again. The decision being made, she would often silence any further debate by drawing the bathwater herself, then collaring and ushering me, often none too gently, into the bathroom. Until I'd become a teenager, my mum usually insisted I strip there and then - or else - sometimes undressing me herself if I demurred too long. I'd then have to get straight into the bath, as any reluctance on my part to my impending immersion was sometimes quickly dispelled by a very firm stinging smack from her across my bare backside. Without any further delay I'd then have to submit to an all-over wash and scrub, carried out, very thoroughly, by my mum of course. The usual protestations and objections I made during her 'no nonsense' aquatic assault on my naked body as she washed and scrubbed me were often silenced - 'til the next time - by the sting of another smack from her, similarly targeted, to keep the first one company!

 

Some really nice things happened afterwards though. When my mum had finished, she would help me up out of the bath onto a large bathroom stool that was kept beside it. Then she'd rub me dry all over with a nice warm soft bathtowel as I stood there.

 

When I was dry, discarding the towel, my mum would wrap her arms all around my naked body. I'd feel a hand slide down the middle of my back and over both cheeks of my bare bottom, resting there just underneath ready to cradle it properly a few moments later when she'd pick me up off the stool and put me back down onto the bathroom floor. I'd respond to her embrace by throwing my arms around her in return, sometimes planting a kiss on her cheek as well.

 

My mum knew that kissing her - or being kissed by her - in public were not things I liked to happen anymore as I got older, so I don't think she was at all surprised to start receiving the odd kiss from me during my bathtimes instead. I welcomed this private opportunity she gave me to express my deep loving affection for her in this intimate way, with no one else around to see and make fun of me, confident she wouldn't tell anyone either. I loved her so much - in a filial way of course - more so with each passing day, and felt the physical need to 'say' more about my feelings for her now, needing more ways to express them, dipping a little deeper into that 'well' of the emotional.

 

With our arms still entwined around each other, my mum would now lift me off the stool, slowly carry me a couple of steps out of the way, and put me down carefully in the middle of the bathroom floor. I really loved her doing this, as these intimate and affectionate embraces - regrettably all too fleetingly brief though they were - took the place of the motherly hugs and cuddles I used to receive from her when I was younger and still yearned for, but thought I had become too old for, now I was a teenager and too embarrassed to ask my mum for or give her anymore. But now of course, I could experience these 'hugs' and 'cuddles' without any of those silly clothes of mine getting in the way of my mother's wonderfully loving touch on my bare skin.

 

Afterwards, my mum would often dress me in my clean clothes or help me into a clean fresh pair of my pyjamas she had retrieved from an airing cupboard seconds earlier and still warm.

 

Sometimes at bathtime I'd get really lucky, as an open container of talcum powder might previously have been left on the top of the bathroom cabinet. I'd grab it quickly as soon as my mum had finished drying me, pushing it into her hands with a plaintive, " Please mum... " And I'd remain standing passively before her as she complied with my request as a good mother should. I felt so happy as I let her caress any part of my nakedness she wanted to for as long as she liked, hoping that no part of me would be missing out on that gentle maternal skin-to-skin touch as her hands slid over my powder-sprinkled body, each broad sweep they made across the landscape of my bare flesh transporting me further into my own personal heaven for a while. Magic! And that wonderful embrace of hers when she'd wrap her arms around me and lift me off the stool to the floor was still to come!

 

Things changed a bit, as you might expect, when I became a teenager. Now, after escorting me to the bathroom, my mum would largely leave me to it, trusting me to get on with things there myself without her customary intervention and close personal attention and supervision. Happily though, some twenty minutes later, she always paid me another bathtime visit to check everything was OK and to wash some parts of me she knew I still preferred her to do rather than do myself. My mum would dry me too - another thing I still loved her doing, as she always had done anyway up until then.

 

But before this, in the time I was left alone in the bathroom to see to myself, I'd wash my face, arms, and my more private bits (naturally!) then lounge full length in the bath for a while. Even at 14, I was still short enough to lie fully outstretched in the bath like this, and I'd wait expectantly for my mum to revisit me as I enjoyed the lovely hot bathwater, now up to my chin, in the meantime.

 

On my mother's return, she'd often potter around the bathroom a little, as housewives are prone to do, then stand or maybe sit alongside the bath beside me. As my mum looked down at me lying on my back continuing my soak, we'd chat together for a while about all sorts of things, sometimes quite personal and private things. I knew the nakedness of my partly submerged body meant she could usually see my developing penis and testicles quite clearly as I lay there. I didn't mind this at all, and never attempted to hide them from her with my hands or a flannel, or by lowering my body further into the water, even though I could have done if I'd wanted too.

 

After this period 'indecently' exposing myself to my mum, she'd tell me to sit up properly. Our conversation would continue. She'd shampoo and rinse my hair, and afterwards I always asked her to wash my back and legs as well, which she did. Unlike my earlier bathtimes when I was younger, my mum didn't seem to hurry herself anymore, but now took her time washing me. These leisurely personal attentions allowed me to savour to the full every wonderful second they lasted. This is nice! I like this, I remember thinking at the time. Now this is more like it! This was how I always wanted it to be. The reservations I had when I was 12 about still being bathed by my mum were now forgotten.

 

When I was finally washed and ready to come out, I'd stand up out of the bath and my mum would dry me all over with a towel as usual, although the bathroom stool routine I mentioned earlier became increasingly infrequent the bigger I got, and just ceased altogether not long afterwards.

 

Time seemed to slow down during these bathtimes of mine - but even so I wished they could last forever!

 

By the time I'd turned 14, my mum must have noticed the changed appearance of my scrotum, and how much bigger and more noticeable my testicles within it had become (both these changes were pretty obvious by then, as I recall). She was bound to have noticed too that my little inch-long circumcised 'acorn' penis - so familiar to her during my earlier boyhood years - no longer looked like an 'acorn', and had ceased to be the little penis of a 'little boy'. Disappointingly for me though, the area around it was still completely hairless despite these other indications of my imminent sexual maturity.

 

As my 14th birthday retreated further back into memory, it wasn't long before my mum and I were able to observe for the first time, initially without comment from either of us, numerous little black curly hairs that had newly sprouted, seemingly overnight, around the base of my penis. Tentative at first, they grew and spread rapidly over the following months, as my mum could see each time she attended to me.

 

Despite the arrival of pubic hairs, I still welcomed my mothers's attentions at bathtime, loving every second of her company there with me. It seemed to me to be the most natural thing in the world for us to be still doing together, and was really nice too. But I suspect that at each opportunity I gave her to log my relentless bodily progression from boy to man, she became increasingly uneasy about my continuing willingness to display my pubescent nakedness to her. I soon found I had to call out to her from the bathroom after I'd had enough of my lone soak in the bath, to remind her I was ready for her to 'see to me', as her customary unsolicited return visits didn't seem to be forthcoming anymore unless I did. And I had to insist I wouldn't be taking her occasional, "No, I'm busy!" reply for an answer either.

 

I saw no reason why puberty should bar her from continuing to see me in the nude in this way. After all, she wasn't just anybody. She was my dear mum, and I enjoyed the close and special intimate atmosphere this bathtime exposure of my adolescent nakedness to her seemed to create around us.

 

I remember one particular bathtime of mine more than any of the many others my mother spent with me around this time.

 

After she had finished bathing me on that occasion, she stood beside the bath holding open a large bathtowel to dry me as she always did. She beckoned me to stand up out of the bathwater, and I obediently did so, to face her.

 

I noticed her hesitate as she took in the sight of my adolescent nudity now completely on display in front of her, before saying to me that she could see I had, "...lots of little hairs 'down there' now..." as she put it, smiling a little at me.

 

I knew what my mum was referring to of course, so was not surprised to notice her gaze had fallen to the site of those little early-adolescent pubic hairs of mine now concentrated in a narrow band neatly fringing the base of my penis, their glistening wetness emphasising their presence to both of us as never before.

 

I joined my mum in looking down at them, and just grinned a little when she added that she'd noticed my 'willy' (she always called it that) was bigger too, which, of course, it was, - well, I was nearly 15 by this time and my penis had long since ceased to be the little 'acorn' of my boyhood.

 

Still concealing nothing, I let my mum continue to look at my nakedness for what felt like an age. Both of us seemed afraid to move, and uncertain too about what to do or say now.

 

For one awful moment I though my mum was going to turn round and leave me, now making it clear to me that our bathtimes together were finally at an end. But although I said nothing to her, my mum must have realised how reluctant I was for this to happen. She held her ground a bit longer, then reached up and broke this impasse by casting the towel around my head and shoulders as if nothing had previously been said, possibly reassured that she had just made the right decision as I'm sure I couldn't conceal from her how happy I'd become, now I knew our bathtime intimacies together would be continuing after all.

 

Overjoyed as my mum began to rub my naked body dry as she had done a thousand times before, I pondered her remarks. I was puzzled, rather than embarrassed, by them. I'd let my mum see my 'willy' loads of times recently, and we were both already aware of my growing pubic hairs. I'd first noticed them at the beginning of the summer of that same year, and I knew my bathtimes with my mum in the months following meant that she must have seen them herself many times as well. She might have spotted their appearance even before I had, perhaps discreetly monitoring their rapid progress ever since. So why was she drawing my attention to these physical changes in my body after all this time? She'd never done so before.

 

I'm much wiser today. Although my voice still hadn't quite broken, these comments from my mum on the state of my 'development' must have been hints that perhaps it was time nonetheless for my naked bathtime sessions with her, which had gone on regularly between us in one form or another for as long as I could remember, to be brought to an end. But I enjoyed them so much and wanted them to continue, still quite happy and not the least bit embarrassed revealing my pubescent nakedness to her. I'm sure my mum now understood this, and had the kindness and good sense - bless her - to carry on with them for a few months longer, not referring to the advanced and advancing state of my 'development' ever again. She must now have accepted it was up to me now, not her, to decide when these intimate and revealing meetings of ours should end and was prepared to wait patiently for me to end them, which she expected I would when I was ready to do so.

 

Nothing 'kinky' was going on here I assure you. Besides, no doubt my mum kept a discreet eye on things, and while the sight of me with an erection was not a sight unknown to her in my younger days, I'm sure that if anything 'untoward' like that had happened to me now, she would have immediately smacked my bare bum, wrapped the concealing towel carefully around my nether regions in no short order, told me I must see to myself from now on whether I liked it or not, and unceremoniously exited 'stage left', never to return!

 

I loved having these precious minutes of her time all to myself. I came from what today would be considered a large family, with many competing demands on my mother's time, and opportunities for me to be alone with her to enjoy her company were rare and not to be passed up lightly.

 

That nice long relaxing soak I had in the hot bathwater before my mum returned to the bathroom to see to me, the quietness and privacy of our surroundings, and my unashamed, and to me, enjoyably intimate exposure of my adolescent nakedness to her all somehow combined to help create such a warm and cosy atmosphere around us, that often, as a result, I felt completely at ease during our quiet conversations there showing not just my emotions, but telling of my deepest, most personal innermost thoughts and fears (and, with a little gentle cajoling from my mum, sometimes revealing to her my transgressions too).

 

It was as if it wasn't just my body that I stripped bare for her, but my soul as well. My mum supplying words of reassurance or censure when necessary, it seems to me now, looking back, that these times we were alone together confirmed that a boy could never have a better confidante, confessor, comforter and friend than his mother. I don't think my mum and I were ever closer than at this time.

 

But what I liked most of all was that these occasions gave me a belated opportunity to experience close physical contact from my mum that wasn't hostile for a change, and what a welcome change that was. In many working-class homes at the time it was the mother, not the father, who was largely in charge of the discipline, and my family was no exception, so during my junior school years my mum often beat me. As these unpleasant memories faded, the intimacy of my mother's kindly attentions towards me during these bathtimes of mine became opportunities to put things right between us, opportunities I just wasn't going to miss if I could help it, and who could blame me for trying to repair that earlier damage to our relationship by seeking these more recent and pleasurable instances of our physical interaction for me to experience and remember instead.

 

And pleasurable they certainly were. As my mum slowly and carefully shampooed my hair, the tips of her fingers - running through it and massaging my scalp, sometimes unintentionally(?) lightly brushing the nape of my neck - electrified me... The touch of her bare hands as they ran gently over my naked flesh as she washed me or as I felt them through the towel as she dried me all over was absolutely fantastic... And feeling my mother's loving arms around my naked body as she helped me out of the bath or to get on or off the bathroom stool for her to dry me as I stood on it - simply wonderful...

 

All these sensations - some soft and comforting, others firm but pleasantly reassuring - I interpreted as a tender physical expression of my mother's maternal affection for me, an affection I craved.  I may have been appreciating it late, but that was better than never at all. And there was something else too.

 

I sensed an intense tmosphere of deep loving warmth envelop us during these later bathtime meetings of ours, generating unfamiliarly powerful emotions within me that almost overwhelmed me; feelings of the love for each other we both shared between us; feelings such as I had never experienced that strongly before for anyone else at that time but my mum; feelings of the strongest, purest and most enduring love of all, a love like no other - that love that exists and is exchanged between a mother and her son; between a boy and his mum.

 

My bathtime had become something to really look forward to... Alone together once more... Just the two of us ... Me - on the threshold of manhood and as naked again in my dear mother's presence as that day she gave birth to me over fourteen years before - and my mum ... Our own special time together, in our own special place, with no one else around to disturb, ridicule or condemn our affectionate intimacy there... Smashing! I loved it all and I wanted it, needed it, still - perhaps more so than ever at that time. As far as I was concerned, it all simply had to go on. I just wasn't ready to end any part of this wonderfully loving experience with my mum, knowing it was my last opportunity to be physically and emotionally really close to her, my total nakedness before her enabling us to enjoy an intimacy together the further passage of time would never allow us to repeat.

 

As for my mum's feelings about all this I can only guess at, but when a naked 14 year old boy noticeably going through puberty is still asking his mother to assist in bathing and drying him - and really enjoying her doing so - there is something else going on between them than the boy's desire to have a proper bath. It's her he really wants, and she knows it. My mum must have understood that, and realising how emotionally important my naked bathtime sessions with her still were to me, wasn't going to deprive me of them despite her reservations about my obvious developing sexual maturity the continuing displays of my nudity were revealing to her. She could well have been flattered too that I still felt this special way about her, suspecting (correctly as it turned out) that she was the only woman at this time I was both revealing the total nakedness of my growing adolescent body to, and willing to have it caressed by; offering it up to her as it were, completely and unconditionally, without shame or reservation, as a lover might.

 

No doubt my mum was also pleased she could still have me as her 'little boy' for her to 'mother' a bit longer, content to carry on complying with her 'little boy's' bathtime requests for as long as I expressed the desire for her to perform them having now satisfied herself that I was still quite happy with the situation (I was - blissfully!), reassured that there was always that bolt on the inside of the bathroom door for me to use when I felt ready to cut this final cord of her 'apron strings'. For like most mothers, I'm sure mine knew more about growing adolescent boys than she let on, and had probably already noticed the tell-tale teenage stains around the fly of my pyjama bottoms as she collected them for the weekly wash, figuring out I'd soon be shutting her out of the bathroom to bath on my own so I could 'play' there that essentially private and solitary game that most of my schoolmates had already been playing with themselves for some time now - according to them that is.

 

She was right. I guess I had just turned 15, and no longer a boy in any sense, but now a young man, the last time I let my mum help bath and dry me, seeing me naked in the process. I bolted the bathroom door from then on, both to stop her catching me doing it, and to conceal from her the tell-tale 'evidence' of the occasions when I'd been overdoing it (and didn't we all, initially!).

 

In retrospect, it seems a little sad that this long-standing warm, loving, intimate and sublimely beautiful part of the relationship between my mother and I should have ended because of something as 'sordid' as my adolescent bathtime masturbation, but that's the way it was with me, and I daresay that's still the way it is with many teenage boys today. Perhaps it's nature's way of saying, "You're grown up now, lad. Time to cover yourself up from your mum. Lock that bathroom door and bath yourself from now on. Your mother's getting embarrassed, even if you're not!"

 

When my mum discovered I was now locking the bathroom door against her, did she have a little weep like those other mothers did when faced with the same situation from their sons? I don't think so - she wasn't that type of woman. More than likely she collapsed into the nearest armchair with a huge sigh of relief!

 

Her 'little boy' had grown up at last and gone from her. Having drunk his fill of the milk of his mother's love for him, the mother/son bonding satisfactorily completed, he was now ready to explore the wider human world in pursuit of somewhat different personal relationships involving other activities with people yet to be known.

 

Our relationship had finally moved on.

 

 

Postscript

 

I paid a visit to my mum recently in her small bungalow she bought last year. My youngest sister had already stayed there the previous night with her son, who'd celebrated his ninth birthday just the week before.

 

After I'd sat down with them all in the living room to have a cup of tea, my nephew was sent packing by my sister to the nearby bathroom to have a bath, and it wasn't long before I could hear him through the open bathroom door happily splashing about as I sipped my tea.

 

My mum, sister and I chatted together for ten, fifteen minutes or so, then my mum turned to my sister and said, " Hurry up and bath R---. I'll want to get in there in a minute."

 

" Oh, I don't bath him anymore. " my sister replied. " He's old enough now to bath himself. "

 

I glanced at my mum in surprise, and she looked back at me.  Not a word passed our lips.  There was no need - we could read each other's mind.  Remembering those wonderfully intimate bathtimes of mine my mum spent with me when I was a young teenager, we were both thinking,  "She just doesn't get it, does she!"

 

I think I'll be having a word in my sister's ear shortly. Or maybe my mum will beat me to it!

 

 

 

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" The Thinker. "