Thursday, May 7

The Talk

My baby boy, my little man......had "the talk" today. Reproduction is no longer a mystery to my eldest child. He has been extremely cuddly with his mama today, which I have loved, but I see in it an effort to bleach his brain and just be a little boy again.

I can't believe he's old enough to know these things! Then again, I can't believe he's made it this long without finding out. It has always been our intention to wait until he expressed some curiosity before bringing up the subject ourselves. Yet curiosity never came. We thought perhaps he would begin to wonder as his little sisters came did they get here? But no. They were here and that was good enough for him. He spent many weekends with friends, helping out on a farm and even discussed steers and heifers with such ease that I thought perhaps he was getting it.....but no. The moms of all of his friends spoke with me and told me that their sons had learned "the secret". Concerned that he might overhear things he wasn't prepared for, I informed Ethan that there was stuff he needed to know whenever he felt ready...stuff that his friends already knew. I asked him to bow out if their conversations seemed foreign and to let me know when he was ready to talk about it.

"Would you be interested in talking about it now?" I asked.

"No," he said casually with a shrug.

He really didn't care.

How could he not care?!? He knew there was a secret that all of his friends knew and that he did not, but he didn't care! Now, I know you're probably thinking that I am being naive; that he knew all along and just didn't want to talk about it, but I'm telling you - HE REALLY DIDN'T CARE! I don't understand how or why, but the kid is cool as a cucumber and just doesn't bother with the unknowns.

It occurred to his dad and I that in a few short months, he will enter the youth group at church. We have taught youth for 10 years now and we both know that "the talk" will inevitably be discussed in Youth, as it should be. A majority of these kids are in public school and are exposed to a lot of false information about "the talk" and need it to be discussed openly, honestly, and with the viewpoint of God in mind. We agreed that Ethan needed to be prepared so he can know what on earth they are talking about.

So we bought a book.

Rather, several books. Two were gifts from Generations of Virtue, as items to review. He slowly worked his way through the material and began going out for breakfast with his dad to discuss "stuff." I knew, as soon as the cuddling commenced, that he had reached "the good parts" in the book. There was no hinting around with that book. It was what it was and it was portrayed honestly and beautifully.

Chris told me that he asked Ethan to tell him how much he now knew. The cool cucumber look was replaced with a stricken and nauseated expression. He gulped a few times and eventually got the disturbing details out. The more he spoke and the more he observed his dad's casual reaction, the more okay he became with the subject matter.

He told me that he wasn't really comfortable talking about it and I told him that was okay, emphasizing that it is a private, beautiful thing that doesn't need to be discussed with other people but that he is welcome to talk about it with his parents at any time.

We've raised our children to be comfortable with their bodies, yet modest. I remember it was hard to find that balance at first, as I was learning. I wasn't sure how to handle it when they were very young and I needed to discuss "stranger danger" without being too explicit. I didn't want to incite curiosity before they were old enough to handle the information. Basically, we raised them knowing the anatomical name for all their body parts, saying the word penis as casually as we'd say elbow. (We thought this was a grand plan until our four year old fell in love with the word vulva. But that's a post for a different day.) We tell them that their bodies are special and private. We tell them that it is inappropriate for other people to show their bodies and likewise, inappropriate for them to show their bodies to other people. It is all said with casual simplicity so that there is no risk of them feeling shame, but rather pride, in the bodies God gave them.

Ethan doesn't seem too terribly overwhelmed with his new knowledge. It seems to all make sense to him. I can't tell you what a relief it is to have finally crossed that bridge. The anticipation is so much worse than the delivery.

Whew! One down, three to go!


Mel said...

Oh boy....that day is coming, I know. Jacob has expressed a little bit of curiosity, but we haven't reached that point just yet. I'm thinking it will be soon though, too soon.:) I just hope that once that initial "talk" is over with, he'll be comfortable enough to talk to us about it, ya know? I mean, I know he's not going to be "comfortable" per se, but I don't want him to be "afraid" to talk about it with us. It was very hush hush when I grew up....anyway.... It's so funny, isn't it, how kids just blurt stuff out sometimes? Jacob once told the barber with no shame what had happened to our dog, when we had him fixed. I won't repeat what he said, but the barber just about fell can be hilarious, but boy can it be embarrassing.:)LOL

wedogmomma said...

I SO appreciate your candor and honesty.....I am behind you a few years (I think) in that our oldest is only 6.....but I've had SUCH similar experiences with our friends and their far our son is oblivious.
I'm thankful, but like you said, almost willing to get it all out there...just to make sure he doesn't get incorrect info from other sources. I admire the ease with which you two handled this so comfortably. I'm saying a prayer over your kids right now-thankful they have such diligent parents.........grateful for your faithfulness to share your experiences! :D

Christina said...

Way to go, Mom! It sounds like you really handled it perfectly!
I remember when we had the first "talk" with my older daughter a few years ago. Describing it as a very special and wonderful gift wrapped up in precious paper for her and her husband to unwrap together some blessed day. -Purity...
My hubby was involved in the conversation... as we felt that it was very important for her to hear a man's perspective. I will never forget my hubby comparing men's urges to that of a cow! Very funny! But... it got the point of modesty and respect for men across quite well!
One of my proudest days as a parent was her choice to make the purity vow to us, to herself, to God, and her future husband.
I remember her asking if Dad and I do that stuff still... Yes... She had visuals! I could tell by the gagging and vomitting going on! (JK)
Now for daughter number two... YIKES!

Ginger@chirgies said...

Good Job Jenn!!! Good for your hubby and you to be so open and honest, and "cool as a cucumber". I SO want to encourage my kids that I am always available to talk to about ANYthing.

Isn't it funny how different are kids can be? Our oldest is clueless, but #3, our daughter is SO observant and always noticing the differences in body parts.

I know our day is coming soon too! I'd heard really good things about The Body Book by Nancy Rue and bought it. I've looked through it and think it will be good when the time comes.

(ps - we never used the real names because I just KNEW that they would come out in the grocery check out line at the wrong moment, and I did NOT want to be embarrased.) oh well. :)

Jessica said...

i will be printing this and saving it for when we need to have "the talk."

i love those pictures--especially the one of ethan and joel with their guns and the mean face. adorable! the blushing bride in the slide show is pretty hot, too. :)

Nezzy said...

Job well done!

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