The Risks and Rewards of Telling Your Kids the Truth About Love, Sex, and Relationships (Part 1)

When they were little, they asked me where babies come from.  I told them babies usually come from mommies tummies, but they didn’t come from mine.

Confusing, but we were on our way.

Something disturbing happened.  They were only four when they started showing some red flags.  They didn’t seem to remember anything wrong(still don’t).  They raged on.

Determined to give them a plain background, against which, abnormal experiences would stand out, I sought out some Christian books on sexual development.

Bursting into her parents’ bedroom, the 6 year-old yelled, “Mom, Dad is going to see you!!!”

Whereupon, her sister, corrected, “IT’S OKAY!!! Their bodies are each other’s to enjoy,”  and walked off to resume her business.

The next book in the series discussed oral sex.  For my 7-9 year-old?  Um. No.  They were fired.

I fielded questions as they came, on my own.  Just me and my honesty.  Easy questions.  Innocent years.

When they were in private school, I worked in the school clinic.  A little girl came in, who couldn’t say she had cramps and wanted to go home.  That afternoon, the girls and I talked about all the different kinds of stomach aches and their real names and periods.

No books, no videos, no pictures.  Just me and my ashen face.

They dug it.

There were problems.  Perhaps, their curiosity outstripped their caution or their common sense.  It happens.  At about the same age for everyone.

The Devil, Himself, slithered into the safest haven.  The Spirit warned me to go back, and I refused, thinking,”Maggie, you think God speaks to you.  No, God, isn’t like that.  Go fart around and waste time until the lesson is over.”

One night, I was tucking a girl into bed.  As I took one last look at her precious face, I knew she was dying.  I blinked.  It was gone.  I gave her one last kiss and turned out the light.

Over the next couple of weeks, a lot of things came out.  I had been right.  She had been dying.  Before my very eyes.

A counselor instructed me how I could care for them.  She handed down a study about our hearts and what God says about them.  They received it according to that philosophy.  Feeling blame and shame beyond their responsibility.

I told them Satan set that trap.  He seeks to isolate and destroy.  They fill him with rage.  Beauty, Power, Brains, Storming strongholds, Battling phantoms.  He despises innocence.  Hates purity.  Opposes.  Defiles.  Lies.

From there, it has been easy.  I have a very strict, “NO DARKNESS” policy.

Mostly it’s fun– like the day we talked about dressing carefully because you don’t know who sees you; you wouldn’t want some gal to tempt your friend on purpose.  What if someone, who wasn’t me, was knowingly causing your dad distraction?   Afterwards, we went shopping for pretty underthings, because it’s a celebration.  It’s good to feel pretty.  It’s good to give those parts greater honor.  It’s good to remind ourselves we are a treasure.  They’re like Superman’s suit.  When you see Clark Kent, you don’t know what’s under that business casual. Clark does.

Sometimes, it’s awkward, but I’m so used to it, I forget other people live to avoid it. I attack it like a guy with a sword attacks a dragon.*   [Except, right now.  I’m putting off one I’m going to need Camels and Night Train a Xanax and a Tigan to have.]

Recent awkward defeats include but aren’t limited to: Getting yelled at for admitting I’d had a hickey administered by someone who isn’t dad (that’s why Biology has lecture and lab); and being scorned for explaining a personal shower and all it signifies, and no-I-will-not-be-needing-any-of-that (She has since rescinded) [vigorously].

There isn’t any topic they can’t bring up. Sometimes, they open discussions and I have to say, “I can’t tell you anymore about that until you’re engaged.”

Weekend before last, we enjoyed a cabin in the mountains.  The we were buzzing around, checking it out and someone labeled one of the bedrooms as the honeymoon suite.  Mickey and I said, “No, it’s the other one, because….”  They hit the roof.  We had to be quiet.  In a minute, they were talking about that honeymoon again and the meal-cooking, Dollywood-visiting, outlet-shopping, and other local activities they might plan.

I started to speak.

They shut me down.

They know they don’t want to know.

Yet.

Perfect.

 

~Published with approval from both daughters~

 

*A week or two ago, we were saying which characters in Tolkien we’d be.  The girls agreed I was Eowyn.  Best. Day. Ever.

 

 

Comments

  1. You are such a great mom. Cady is in that developing stage. I know I need to talk about womanly body functions with her, but I’m resisting. Not that I don’t want her to know, or even that I don’t want to tell her. More that I’m not ready for her to be old enough to need to know.

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