Talks with Boys

What was your first reaction when you learned the sex of your baby?

Twelve and a half years ago, we stared at a screen while I laid on the table with my feet in stirrups, and heard a doctor say, "See that right there? That's a boy!" and my brain did that survival thing where it starts to shut down but keeps one tab open so you don't actually die of shock. I knew nothing of boys. The one tab left open, the only thing I could remember knowing about raising boys, was the scene from American Pie when Jason Biggs gets caught making out with his mother's pastry. That is where my brain, during this exciting and special moment of pregnancy, chose to auto-focus.

We walked out of the hospital in silence, vivid images of pie-pleasure wrecking my mind. We got into the car, he turned the ignition, and we sat there in silence for a few moments while I tried, unsuccessfully, to redirect my thoughts. Finally, I turned to him, stuck my pointed finger in his face and pleaded, "When he's old enough to start doing those boy things, I need you to be the person. You have to make sure I have zero knowledge of it. I never EVER want to know anything about it."  He nodded, looked at me like I was just as ridiculous as I felt, and said OK. Only then was I able to relax and fully enjoy the momentous occasion for what it was - joyful, exciting, life-changing news. A baby boy!

At some point during his early childhood, I came to the realization that hiding from the topic of sex was not going to make it go away. I had to learn to say penis without blushing or he was going to end up thinking he should be embarrassed to have one.

I'ma be real here. I still don't want to talk about it. I also didn't want to get up at 3 a.m. to change poopy diapers, but I couldn't let his little baby butt stew all night and get the diaper rash any more than I can let him think sex is a topic of secrecy and shame. We do what we have to do, and I have to pretend we can talk about uncomfortable things and it's totally no big deal. Apparently I am having some success here, because he has asked me some of the weirdest mo-fo questions I've ever heard in my life, which I will not share because I'm already violating his trust here.

Seriously, the ideas kids get from their friends are wicked wrong. (I remember being terrified, after some misinformation from a classmate, of getting pregnant if I accidentally used the same bath towel as my dad - eww! Weeks later, when I finally worked up the nerve to ask my mom about it, her eyes bugged out and she laughed so hard she almost fell off the couch. *That is an embarrassing story so please do not bring it up during conversation). So while I 100% feel like I might dry heave when questions come up, I keep the calm. I shrug a lot and make a "meh" face. I go to the bathroom if I'm going to crack. I pull out a load of laundry to fold so I can hide my face when I have to stifle a laugh. 

Unfortunately, and all too soon, sex will stop being funny and start getting real. I have always known he would become a teenager and do teenage boy things, but I'm not ready to be on the cusp of this new parenting quagmire. The serious conversations are right around the bend. 

I thought it would take longer to get here. I thought a year would feel like a year and a decade would feel like a decade. Thirteen years went by quicker than it took that American pie to crumble, and the minutes ain't slowin down anytime soon. 


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