Birds, Bees and (for lack of a better word)…Coconuts

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.”)


See what I mean??? Ugh.

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?


Clearly too young for this stuff.

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.

8 thoughts on “Birds, Bees and (for lack of a better word)…Coconuts

  1. Ah yes. Been there. There is no way to anticipate how they will react. Mine was full mostly of laughter, and it took literally MONTHS for all of the questions to come out. One I handled poorly (condoms)-and he ended up Googling the info- DON’T make that mistake!! Some I handled right… too right, so that he brought friends in to hear the explanation. (C-section vs. vaginal birth). In the end it all comes down to the good relationship you have with your children. It will all be OK. They have already heard much more on the bus than they let on! Hugs!!

  2. I think you’re probably way more traumatized by today’s events then he will be! Humor might be a good way to handle it. Since he came up with coconuts he obviously has a sense of humor. I’d just ask how it went and wait for the questions and see where that takes you. Wait until he’s actually dating and you have to have the “no means no” talk and the “safe sex” talk. Better to get your feet wet now. It’s really not so scary once you broach the subject. Their reactions are pretty telling. There’s often a lot of “whew, that’s so gross”.

    • Oh, he was WAY grossed out…to the point of limiting his future family prospects to one child, just to limit the number of times he’d have to DO THAT. Kind of hilarious.

  3. Reblogged this on Tales from the Crib and commented:

    Kid #2 just finished what she called the “Human GROSS and Development” unit in 5th grade science, so let’s just say– she knows ALL THE WORDS. Just one year ago, we were embarking with Kid #1 on this Sex Ed “virgin voyage,” and I wrote about it, OF COURSE. Kid #1 came home shocked to his core that Daddy and I had “done that TWICE.” So I am sharing that post TWICE because, well, some things are worth doing more than once (wink wink).

  4. Wait till you get to padded bras and small bikinis and the words on the butt of her sweat pants. I am ready to faint. I have given into everything but the sweats. Also, my Sarah is tall so I have to watch the length of dresses. Most tend to be made for a shorter girl.
    She seems to be wise beyond her years with her Gossip Girls and Pretty Little Liars. We had a talk not to technical but did it. Forced Dad to talk to Josh who was very nieve and stunned so Dad had to slow done and didn’t say all. Well the sex video probably filled in anything he left out. Lord help us

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