By Lorry Myers
We were inexperienced parents, uncertain about the appropriate age to talk with a child about the birds and bees. So my husband and I decided early on that we would take our cue from our children.
When it was time to have “the talk” we would know.
Then, my 10-year-old son sat down at the dinner table after his first day of fifth grade and asked his dad if it was true what the boys in P.E. told him. Taylor then repeated what he had learned word for word, shocking me and quieting his little sisters.
“Can I see you in the other room?” I calmly asked my husband, my eyes saying something more.
In the hallway I hysterically informed Randy that the time had finally come for the talk…the birds and bees talk. We couldn’t let our son base everything he knew on what he heard in the locker room. It was time for a father and son talk.
“I’m not doing it,” Randy declared, looking like I was out of my mind.
“What do you mean you’re not doing it?”
“I’m not doing it,” he said again, only more emphatically this time. “You do it.”
“Did you hear the things your son said? You have to talk to him.”
“How am I supposed to talk to him about this stuff when I don’t even know what it’s all about?”
For some reason that didn’t surprise me.
The heated discussion continued until we came to a compromise. Randy would have the talk with our son, and someday I would do the same with our two younger daughters. He would only have to suffer once while I would have to do it twice.
Randy was happy about that.
I am not quite sure what was said, but a short time later, father and son emerged from behind a closed door with grins all over their faces. Randy assured me that everything went well and Taylor would not be asking any more questions like that at the dinner table. Randy had done his duty and told his son everything he knew about the birds and the bees.
No wonder the talk hadn’t lasted long.
A few short years later before my daughter’s first day of fifth grade, I made my way up to Hilary’s bedroom to keep my end of the bargain. Unlike my husband, I had rehearsed my speech ahead of time. I knew how I was going to begin this important conversation and the topics I wanted to cover. The conversation started easy enough but when Hilary realized where I was going, she was so embarrassed she buried her head under her pillow and refused to come out.
Believe me, I wanted to do the same thing myself.