Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The birds and the bees...let's talk about s.e.x.

One of those things that I am not sure any of us as parents are quite prepared for, no matter how liberal you may think you are, is the idea of talking about sex with our children.  It starts to haunt us as soon as they start looking at belly bumps, and we no longer tell them those stories about storks and cabbage patches - no we are of the "there's a baby in there dear" generation , and asking about when will the baby come out.  It is easy to answer at that point but a little twinge hits us -- oh are they going to ask how the baby comes out or worse yet ...how the baby got in there...stork anyone????

I have liked boys for as long as I can remember.  I distinctly remember Petru's (Peter) shirt and close cropped blonde hair, he was 5 and I was about 4, we played in the back of our apartment building ...I was smitten and if you think I am making this memory up I can assure you I am not - I do not remember much about him but his little blue shirt and the hair and that he bit me.  Yes, he bit me.  I do not think it was bad - I cried -- probably in stereotypical woman fashion I liked him more for being a little mean - or maybe then I had the sense to dismiss him -- I do not remember much before that day or after -- but that day and the way I felt - well that I do remember.   I have had crushes on boys and have pined after many of them...I would say the vast majority never even knew it.  I pride myself on the many male friends I have - but boy there were "friends" out there that I went home and wrote for hours in my journals about...boys who I am sure never wrote about me....to be near them, to be with them, to (sigh) give them advice about other girls...well that worked until somehow they morphed into what they had been - just friends. 

It is very natural for me to see my boys, especially my 8 year old, and his friends (both female and male) start this process around now.  I mean they sort of like girls - until they are annoying - or they sort of like boys - until they are obnoxious.  I hear about it - and of course it is always followed "but I do not like any of the girls more than friends yet" - hmmm really ??? This is a very different world than my 8 year old times. I once had a teacher who said "your parents were never the same age you were" because they were not the same age in our times, this feels even more accurate now with relation to my boys.  

I have consulted books, parents, and even our pediatrician about when the write time to bring up a sex talk is - because I know that kids get "active" earlier - and though I really think they are just not ready in so many ways - it is the reality of the world I live in.  The answer seems to be that you have to get comfortable - too bad for you, you signed up for the parenting job after all - and be able to give them little bits at a time until they are ready for it  - and this is probably based on how well you know your kid. It is very important that we have programs as they get to middle school and high school that have intelligent, open and all encompassing discussions about sex education.  

My oldest recently asked me how he came out of the belly....silence...he asked again...I said you pushed your way out ...seemed enough though closer to Alien than childbirth.  If he had kept asking I may have asked for a moment to think about it...I dread the next question "how did I get in there"...I was sleeping and your father is a bad, bad man is probably not the appropriate answer.  

There is nothing wrong with sex ..though looking at how the conservative movement around the world is bent on pretending that no one should like it - that you can choose who you have an attraction to - that it is for birth so no control needed -- well I guess they would like to think so.  Not me - being with someone that makes your stomach drop at the sound of their voice, whose name on your phone brings naughty thoughts to mind, whose kiss lingers long before it is actually placed on your lips and ooooh so long after - well that is all good.  Yet to have to those feelings it takes more than being "able" to have sex.  I think as the mother of boys I have to teach them to respect their bodies and their partners ...there is nothing wrong with sex but there is a time when sex may be wrong for you.  The fact that they are growing up so fast is scary to me - but the fact that they are finding the wonder of liking someone well that is actually a nice thing to watch.  I hope to teach them about how to know when they should be with someone not because their friends have "done it", probably not true anyway, or because it is there ...but because they are ready for it.  That will not happen for many years and I am not sure if I will be "ready" when they are - but as a parent I will be here to give what I give naturally - unconditional love with a dose of explanation. 

George Michael "sex is natural, sex is fun"....yep but he forgot to add "sex is best when it is the right time to be done"....

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