|Mum at a school sports day in 1963|
After much rooting around, I managed to pull out this one. It's very personal, very private and I have never shared it with anyone before.
I am perhaps eight years old so it's probably 1961. I live in a house with three brothers, my mother and father; and I know nothing about girls or the mysteries of sexual reproduction. However, as you can imagine I am a clever little devil, always asking questions.
There's an evening drama on our little black and white "Bush" television. I am watching it with Mum and Dad. In this drama, a woman is apparently deciding whether or not to have a baby. Curious, I ask what is going on because up until that moment I had supposed that babies just happened. You couldn't decide, could you?
Mum looked at Dad and he looked back. I wondered why they weren't immediately concurring.with my wise observation.
Soon after that, Mum took me aside and gently gave me a very basic lesson about the making of babies. I was taken aback. She claimed that women had holes instead of willies and what is more babies emerged from these holes after growing in a mummy's tummy for nine months. And then I found out that the daddy was somehow involved in sowing the seed, a baby seed.
It was flabbergasting.
A few days later when Mum was dressing in the bathroom I reminded her of our little conversation about babies. I couldn't quite get my head around it all - especially this business about holes instead of willies so without any sense of impropriety I asked Mum if I could see her hole.
She didn't know how to respond. I remember her blushing - wearing a rubbery corset and gathering up her clothes. I didn't know that she was weighed down by the heaviness of social mores and a keen sense of lines that should not be crossed.
Secret talks with other boys from the village confirmed that girls did indeed have holes. Unlike me, several of the boys had sisters so they knew.
I very much hoped to see one of these holes myself and the following summer when my family were on holiday in southern Germany my wish came true. We went to a lovely verdant park in Munich. You could swim safely in a river that flowed swiftly through the trees till you reached netting and could clamber out ready for another go.
And that's when I spotted a young German girl as naked as the day she was born. What Mum had said and what the village boys with sisters had said was true!
Perhaps these linked memories have stayed with me through the years because they marked a staging post in my existence. Life wasn't as simple and straightforward as I had previously imagined and maybe there were many more new truths ahead to wrestle with.
What a great story!ReplyDelete
I was horrified when I first heard how babies come about
To think that the making of babies was connected with toilet parts seemed both dirty and most unpleasant to me.Delete
Your poor mum! It must have been hard in those days to talk to kids about sex. I'll bet that seeing the German girl was a life changing experience for little Master Pudding!ReplyDelete
That memory is seared in by brain like a branding mark on a cow's rump!Delete
That was a watershed moment. Good that the basic information came from your Mom.ReplyDelete
She wasn't normally a bashful woman. She called a spade a spade so that morning in the bathroom was surprising.Delete
I love your story and I agree that the more we learn in childhood the less simple our lives become. Is that your Mom holding the baby? Your little brother? That's a wonderful picture!ReplyDelete
It would have been someone else's baby Bonnie. My youngest brother was born in 1956.Delete
That is a beautiful photo, your Mom and the other woman look happy and relaxed.ReplyDelete
As I was born in 1968, my childhood happened in the 1970s, when sex had become less of a taboo in many families. I asked my Mum where babies came from when I was three but neither did I really understand nor truly care. I asked again when I was five and this time, I understood her explanation - as well as a five-year-old can understand such things.
I also knew my dolls weren't anatomically correct!
My brother's "Action Man" didn't even a penis. I don't know what "Action Man" was called in Germany. In America they called him "G.I. Joe"Delete
My mother never told me anything at all about " sex" ! I am still figuring it out ...or perhaps I should say I still hear about things that I didn't know happened ! ( if you see what I mean? )ReplyDelete
I think it was a girl at school ( Celia) when we were about 10 who started "rumours" about strange goings on! She was the youngest of 4......had several brothers !
Perhaps the secrecy and the mystery made it all the more alluring. It's different now isn't it?Delete
What a wonderful photo. Your mother looks such a warm and happy person there. You are very lucky to have had a caring and considerate mother to guide you in her own way through all those tricky bits of growing up. My mother, alas, gave up on us all and walked out in the 1970s to start a new life with a younger man. My sex education lessons were learned from friends at school, the TV and newspapers!ReplyDelete
How awful to lose your mother in that way. It must have left some scars. My mother was a strong woman who embraced life and loved us all to the end of her days. I can still hear her singing.Delete
I'm confused, I thought gooseberry bushes were involved. All those prickles for nothing.ReplyDelete
I suspect the presence of a double-entendre but that might be just the way my mind works.Delete
I must have nothing to blog about because nearly all my posts raid my memory bank. You've reminded me of when, aged about 12, I burst in on my grandma who had just got out of the bath and not yet picked up a towel. I saw things I'd never seen before.ReplyDelete
Good heavens! What a memory!Delete
I have never heard the transaction referred to in terms of holes and willies. Must be a British, sorry, English thing.ReplyDelete
The second sentence of your third paragraph threw me for a minute and I had to read it again. Because of its punctuation, I had read it thusly at first: I live in a house with three brothers [pause] my mother and father and I know nothing about girls or the mysteries of sexual reproduction. Surely he jests, I thought. Surely his mother and father knew something about girls and the mysteries of sexual reproduction, but you seemed to be saying that they did not. On my second reading of the sentence I inserted a mental semi-colon after the word father and all became clear.
I shall do the same sir. Thank you for your keen observation.Delete
I agree with Red - it's good that you were able to ask your mother and receive reliable information. I wouldn't have dared ask either of my parents; what I knew came from my best friend, who matured early and had a grandma she was very close to for asking such things.ReplyDelete
My mum was usually broad-minded and forthright. To see her blushing that morning was very puzzling to the eight year old me.Delete
Most of my generation were self-taught, I think....little or no sex-education was part of the curriculum in our home. Some question went unasked. Thank goodness for books, friends and magazines!ReplyDelete
I can't remember ever having any sex education when I was at school. But yes - certain magazines were a revelation and they were very well thumbed.Delete
The rubbery corset struck a note with me, lol.ReplyDelete
I had one of those. I feel a comment coming on.