That all changed the summer of my tenth year, however. Precocious in all things, I got a jump-start on puberty as well, and during one afternoon of topless tree-climbing I came to the poignant realization that I really couldn't play Tarzan with these new bubbies that had inconveniently attached themselves to my upper torso. I left the game, went in the house to find something to cover up with, and spent the hours until suppertime sitting on the kitchen stoop reading a Bobbsey Twins book.
It wasn't parental pressure or any sort of moral brainwashing that made me suddenly modest. I guess I just felt uncomfortable in my new body, and was reluctantly aware that other things would change, too. While garments may not have been compulsory, growing up was. Or at least I believed so then.
Nowadays I indulge in the occasional sauna, hanging out, so to speak, with my friends, in the pretext that I'm doing something for my health. In reality though, I'm just being a naked kid again.
(Edited & Reposted from JS 7/29/05)