Sunday, April 25, 2010

The facts of life

The husband I decided it was time to have the big talk with the big C and tell him all about where babies really come from. He turned 11 and we knew it was time, so we did what every good parent does - we put it off as long as possible. Then he turned 12 and I told the husband we could not wait any longer. Nor could we continue to live in the ignorant bliss that our oldest child had no interest or knowledge of the grown-up subject.

Come on, I know what is right around the corner. I had three teenage brothers in '80s so I know what tube socks were really used for.

After much discussion and preparation (flying by the seat of our pants and praying for it to soon be over) the husband and I teamed up on the poor unsuspecting child. At first I didn't think it was going to be so bad and then the husband, this boy's father - leader, mentor, teacher, began to speak.

Son, sex is when a man and two women...

Holy mother of god, what is he talking about? You mean a man and woman, I said. One woman, two people, one boy, one girl.

Yes, that's right. Son, one boy and one girl. See they get together and then he proceeded to try to explain things using big, grown-up, clinical terms like private place and lady spot. Clearly, our son was now well aware of the trap he had just fallen into and was balled up on the couch with his hands around his knees and his face pointed downward.

I know about this, ok, I know, please just stop, he begged.

I felt sorry for him, I understood this torture. My poor husband was still rattling on about girl spots and boy spots sounding more like we were having a discussion with a kindergartner about strangers than trying to tell a half-grown boy about sexual relations.

I tried to help by explaining that we just want him to know the facts, to know that he can talk to us. Then the husband starts in -

Husband: You see, son, in the Bible it says...

Me: The Bible, why are we talking about the Bible?

Husband: Yes, the Bible, the story of God, we like God, you know the Bible says to wait until you are married.

Oh, aren't you slick, I don't remember you talking about the Bible and the importance of saving yourself when we were dating.

Me (desperate to save face): Of course we like God, I love God, God is great and while I do think you should wait until you are married, or at least grown, the sad thing is many people today don't wait (in my best motherly voice, mind you).

Then the husband, father of my children, life partner, supposed best friend, totally hangs me out to dry.

That's right, take your mother for example...

Me? Me? You want to talk about me? Um, excuse me, you want to use ME as the example here? This coming from the boy who put his address on the bottom of the chalk board in high school with the words Sex Shop above it.

Me (again desperately trying to rescue any self-respect I have left while not exposing traumatizing secrets about his father) loudly said: This is not really about US, son. This is about you and making sure you understand things.

Then I went on to tell him how we knew he would talk about this with his friends but not to really listen to them because they would be confused and misinformed but that it was ok to talk about it with them, and to not send naked pictures of anyone with his phone because it would make someone's daddy very unhappy and if he were older he could get in serious trouble. And on, and on.

So basically I rambled and fumbled my words just like the poor husband who was trying to explain the horrible, evil world of porn and I thought was doing a good job until he followed up with - it would be awful for you to see it now because it would probably scar you for life but man, when you get in college have I got some things to show you. Nice.

When we were done and the poor boy had left the room and his humiliation was finally over, I looked over at the husband who at this point had his face buried in his hands. It wasn't so bad, I said, except for maybe the menages a trios, the whole your mother is a whore, and your dad is obsessed with porn, part. I think he will recover. Besides, you will be better prepared when your daughter starts her period sometime in the next couple of years, we will be old pros by then.

The look on his face said I had gotten all the revenge I needed.

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