Parenting is the hardest job in the world in my opinion. I watch my sisters and friends struggle to make sure their children are happy, healthy and not playing in traffic. I still want kids after my friend’s son engaged the “backup boosters” in my Xterra, which caused my backdoor to open while driving on the New Jersey Parkway. I now know about kid safety locks and the other fine points of child proofing your home. I have been thinking about sex education because two of my cousins are expecting. They are young, uneducated, unemployed and about to become parents. I wonder if anyone ever said anything to them about safe sex. This got me to thinking about my own experiences. Growing up my mom wanted to make sure we were all older before having kids. She was 19 when I was born and wanted us to have the experiences she missed out on. My mom never had the Talk with my sisters and me. Instead she bought us the book, “Where Did I Come From”. I think I was eight and I asked my mom where babies came from. I recall her turning pale and avoiding the question. A family counselor told my mom to buy me the book. I imagine the counselor also told my mom to talk to me, but my mom embarrasses easily. She gave me the book and never said another word. It explained things in more detail than I ever wanted to know. I am sure the cartoon illustrations were intended to be kid friendly, but they absolutely horrified me. I was eight! I gave her the book back and told her that I understood that I was never to have sex because it made you gain weight, grow hair in funny places, meant you had to touch a boy, and if all of these things occurred you would spit out a baby from your nono area. That was the end of my Talk. This apparently repeated every few years as my sisters dared to ask where babies come from. As teens, my mom made it clear her choice for us was abstinence but that she was realistic and made up promise that if we decided a different path that we could come to her to talk before acting.
Did you have the Talk?