Popular culture and television would lead one to believe that having “the talk” with your children is an extremely cringe worthy and relationship defining moment in a parent and child’s life. They also depict sex ed as a fun and embarrassing class where people get to practice putting various forms of sexual protection on oddly shaped fruit. For those of you who don’t understand my coyish reference, I mean condoms and bananas. Growing up, these moments seemed almost like a right of passage and truthfully, I was looking forward to them. This of course means that NEITHER HAPPENED and yet I’m not pregnant…odd.
I think my parents never made a big to-do about talking to me about sex because throughout the years, my brother and I both slowly collected enough information to understand for ourselves. My first clue came from when my parents would shut their bedroom door and lock it. I remember my brother and I pounding on the door saying things like “open up, it’s the police,” “you have a special flower delivery,” or “there’s a fire!” Looking back, there’s no wonder why I never got a baby brother or sister. The next clue came when my mom taught me the medical terminology for lady parts. I distinctly recall telling my friend about this at recess like it was the new hottest gossip. Apparently, she also found this information juicy and spilt the tea to my other classmates. I know this because another girlfriend asked me if my mom had taught me any other words besides “VIOLEN.” It was like dirtiest turned cutest game of telephone ever! Either way, over time I got the big picture but that didn’t mean I didn’t want the chance to nervously giggle when I learned about sex and periods at school.
I remember walking home with my brother after he had the life altering sexual education day. He was in fifth grade and I was in third and I remember thinking that he was a changed man. He showed me the condoms that he had been given. He also showed me this magnet that you set in the bathtub which would show you if the water was too hot. How this was connected, I unfortunately will never know. He did let me use the magnet though and I learned that I was apparently burning myself in the bath so there’s that. At the end of my fourth grade year, my family moved and I started at a new school for fifth grade. Not long after starting there, I was told by my new best friends of one week that they had the sex ed class in FOURTH grade!!! This means that I completely MISSED it! I also missed learning the state capitals but that was and is still of much less concern.
If you believe all that the media tells you, hearing this story would make you believe that I was on a straight path to earning fame on the popular tv show 16 and Pregnant. However, it looks more like my trajectory is heading towards 30 and Worried About Decreasing Fertility. So what has all this taught me? That kids are smart, they will figure out much of the world for themselves. They don’t need a LifeTime movie worthy talk about the birds and the bees (though I don’t understand that reference and refuse to google it.) If you want your kid to be perfectly alright, maybe teach them a few anatomy words. Maybe set your kids in front of an episode of SouthPark or New Girl and let them figure it out for themselves. Maybe have the talk or don’t, either way I don’t think it really matters except that one day they will be writing a blog about how you never had that talk with them…
P.s. I considered titling this blog as “The Birds and the Dees” but that felt immature. I semi regret it. I’ll just leave that pun here so that ya’ll know I’m very clever but also very mature.