My little boy is getting the sex talk at school today.
Somebody get over here and HOLD ME.
He is today embarking on the fifth grade science unit about “human growth and development.” That means that today the light will dawn on all those weird words I was never enlightened enough to teach him. (I’m sorry, but most of those words are gross…except for Vas Deferens, which sounds kind of fancy. I much prefer the vagaries of “down there.”)
Today he will watch that video (if he ever gets out from under his desk) with drawings of girls and boys “blossoming,” which boils down to getting hairy and growing “coconuts.” (That’s Will’s word. I swear I didn’t teach him that one.)
Today the shales will fall off his eyes and he will become acquainted with “sanitary napkins.”
Today my child will learn where babies come from, without any mention of storks or cabbage patches or God’s eternal mystery.
Today is the end of the innocence.
I knowwww, I’m painfully repressed. I own that. But let me play for you the full-length, unedited director’s cut of my mother telling me about the birds and the bees.
Mom: “There are Kotex under the sink when you need them.”
Me: “Um, okay.”
This is the same woman who left a box of KY Jelly wrapped in a paper towel on my nightstand on my wedding day. True story.
So yeah, I come by it honest.
But because so painfully little was said at my house, I know that it’s needed. And I do want things to be different with my own kids, so mom and dad are a safe place they can go with all their fears and questions and gross words (even though, let’s face it, my male child will likely never speak of these things again.)
I get it. I really do.
I’m just not quite ready for all that to be said TODAY.
I can’t remotely get a handle on how we got here this quick. I wish with all that is in me that I had ONE MORE YEAR. Just one.
I mean, he’s just a sweet little teeny-tiny eleven-year-old. See?
I honestly think that by 6th grade, I’d admit, “Okay. It’s time.” And I’d be ready for a professional to handle this job for me, giving me time to prep for the questions he would never, ever ask me.
But that’s not what’s happening. We are here. Kicking and screaming or not, we’re here.
So today it’s time for game face. And for bear hugs for the traumatized kid about to walk through my door. For all the elevating words I can muster about “God’s design.” For a healthy dose of silliness and conspiratorial laughter, because seriously y’all, it is funny.
It’s time to face the music and be the mom I want to be — not some distant non-communicative shadow out of a John Hughes movie, but one who’s there, who gets it, who knows all the words and isn’t afraid to use them (if there is absolutely no other choice).
It’s time to show my kid a mom who loves him desperately — even with all his weird hairiness to come.