The Talk

I am approaching an uncomfortable time in my life as a parent — it’s time for the talk.

My sweet oldest child, Lu, was born what seems like a week go to me, but calendars (and my forehead wrinkles) say it was almost nine years ago. Lu is a sweet, naive and sheltered child and I am so proud that she is all of those things, because she is a child.

I am an A-1 advocate of letting children be children and protecting them from ugliness and unnecessary information as long as I reasonably can. I don’t discuss politics or current events with my children. We don’t watch the news when kids are awake. We talk a lot about our spiritual beliefs as a compass for right and wrong choices and as an encouragement to love and be kind to others.

Because of this, I know Lu is ignorant of so much of what’s in the world, but I’m hearing more and more that she’s at the age where she might start to get a little playground sex ed. I know she got some intense nuggets of political “knowledge” from her second grade classmates during the election season.

While I do want to let her be child a bit longer, I don’t want her to learn the facts of life (or the non-facts of politics) from the kids on the bus. I’d rather break the news to her myself, however uncomfortable it may be.

Several of my friends love to tell the story of how their mothers explained the birds and the bees: Here’s a book. Read it and if you have any questions, ask me. WHAT?!? I’m sorry, but if I had to sit through a very uncomfortable conversation with my mother while looking at the anatomical diagrams in the 1967 edition of The Life Cycle Library, I just don’t think it’s fair that my peers got off the hook entirely. But I digress.

I am banking on the fact that Lu has a little less information than I had when my mom talked to me. I am also banking on her being ready only for the biology basics at this point. I just hope I can have that conversation with her with my poker face on. I sure don’t want to set the tone for this topic as embarrassing or awkward. Even though it totally is, when it’s your kids you’re talking to.

The funny thing about this part of parenting is that none of my peers even remotely tries to sugarcoat it — they all say it’s awful. There are so many difficult jobs that we do as parents, but most of us will at least justify it with “…but it’s totally worth it.”

Really? Cleaning your kid’s vomit out of every crevice of your van while you are still suffering from the same stomach bug is “totally worth it”? And when your kids fight so much that you can’t let them all be in the same room for months at a time? I don’t think so, liars.

But when I ask parents who have had the talk with their kids how it went? “Totally sucks.” Every time. So I guess I better gear up for some super suckiness and figure out how to say “intercourse” to my daughter without turning tomato red.

I guess I could ask for access to my mom’s literature if I want to keep up the family tradition.

Overheard at the salon: “I’d trade my left arm for a Preds ticket right now, but then how would I do fang fingers?”