"We spend the first twelve months of our children's lives teaching them to walk and talk, and the next twelve years telling them to sit down and shut up." ~Phyllis Diller
The other night, Sammy was snuggled up with me..it was quiet i.e. the girls were in bed..perfect timing for a conversation..as opposed to the other times Sammy chooses..like when I'm in the bathroom or on the phone..It was just the two of us being cozy on the couch.."Mama?" "Yeah bud?" "Are sharks mammals?" "Good question..umm..I know that many sharks give live birth..but I don't believe that they nurse their young" "What does "nurse" mean..like take care of?" "No, it means to breast feed..the baby gets it's milk from its Mama" .."Oh...like you did with Zoe when you brought her home..right?" "Yup-just like that. " "I remember you fed her from your "breastlets"....well..Pheeew..." "What?" "I'm glad I don't remember what they look like!" "Ummm..me too..?" Really-how does one respond to that? He's leaning back against me as I'm pondering this ("breastlets"? glad he doesn't remember?) when he turns around and gives me an odd look.."Um Mama...?" "Yeah?"..."Um..Mama...um..why are you wearing pillows?".."Pillows?" "This" he says and he takes his index finger and gently pokes me in the chest.."They aren't pillows!" I said with not too little indignation.."It's my bra".."HAHAHAHAHAH..why did you put pillows in it?! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!" "Sammy! sometimes..well..you know..sometimes nature doesn't give..uhhh..when a woman wears certain shirts she sometimes needs a little..umm" "HAHAHAHAHAHA...pillows...HAHAHAHAHAaaaa" and off he went..sigh..my boy is growing up... And I'm not sure how I feel about that.
I wrote this a few months ago when I was first starting to broach the subject of sex with Sammy. My boy is so uncomfortable with the topic. The problem is that sex-ed is being taught this year and I didn't want him to be totally freaked out. So I've been gradually introducing the idea of puberty..and adolescence. I want to make him as comfortable as possible with all the changes he is going to be going through. Trying to foster an open and honest communication about all things sex. Even if it kills me. You have to understand...I grew up in a house where...well we weren't allowed to have genitals. Really! It was out of sight out of mind-they did not exist..and if you happened to discover them upon leaving home..consider it an unmentioned parting gift. No. I was going to be different! I would leave no stone unturned! No unmentionable unmentioned. A penis is a penis..not a winky, or dinky a johnson or a twiddle. My kids like it or not would be informed..and I, like it or not would inform them. sigh...in my zealous quest to educate my son..I forgot the most important lesson of all. Social boundaries. I also forgot about how hard Sammy struggles with them. Yes, although I might think sex is a wonderful and natural thing..this is not something I want my eleven year old son announcing to his class.
"Mama?" "Yeah buddy?" "We had our first class today...about..sex." "Hey..how did it go?".."Um not too well.." "Why? What happened?" "Well I said the word "sex" out loud and the other kids kind of freaked out..I mean I tried to tell them that it was a good thing and that we shouldn't be afraid to be open about it.." "Oh..umm..then what happened?" "Well they were laughing and freaking out and I was really embarrassed..until Mrs. G said something..and they calmed down.." "Oh bud...I am sorry you were embarrassed...are you o.k.? Did the rest of the class go well?" "Ummm..yeah..uhhh..Mama? How long is this gonna take?" "You mean puberty?" "Uhh yeah.." "It takes a few years buddy..we just want you to be prepared for all the changes going on...that's why we teach you now..so you don't get scared."..."Oh..so I don't have to do anything with it?" "Do any....wait a second...Sammy! Buddy! We don't expect you to start having sex now!!!" "..Oh(big exhalation)..So I can still be a kid?" "Oh Sammy..this is just information for you..yes you get to be a kid for a good long time..oh bud..me and Papa don't expect you to start having sex now!! ..Not until you are much much older..like thirty..." "OHhhhhh!..o.k. then..Can I go ride my bike?" "Go ahead..buddy" And ahead he goes..in his own way and at his own pace. Regardless of my mistakes..
That night Lily came up to me..I guess she must have overheard some of mine and Sammy's conversation..she said "Mama?...what's that thing you were talking to Sammy about..you know
"puberty"?" ...sigh..I just looked at her and said "I have no idea...why don't you go ask Papa?"