I knew this was coming

I come from a big fam­ily. I’m one of five kids. When­ever I think of most big fam­i­lies I look at the divi­sion of.….well every­thing. Some are pret­tier than oth­ers, some are smarter than oth­ers, some like school, some don’t, some are nice , some aren’t, etc. It’s just how it is–God has to spread it all out–everyone can’t be the same.

Who am I in my fam­ily? Well, I won’t claim the obvi­ous ones–smart and pretty–but I will claim that I’m the prude. Yes, the prude. I’ve always been. Talk­ing about sex or any­thing close to sex has always given me red cheeks (on my face) and hives. I’m the baby of the fam­ily as well. To find the unprude (yes, I just made that word up), we have to look at the other end of the spec­trum to the old­est child and my old­est sis­ter. She is com­pletely unin­hib­ited by the dis­cus­sion of sex in any way shape or form. And for this, I’m thank­ful. As my own Mother was obvi­ously the prude in her fam­ily, she chose the ‘ignore and surely it will all go away’ method of edu­cat­ing me (and per­haps my sib­lings but I’m NOT going to ask them!). And as I always tuned out any con­ver­sa­tion I felt was unseemly, I didn’t lis­ten to my friends if they talked about such mat­ters. Imag­ine the shock when I started my period. Thank heaven and earth that my par­ents were out of the coun­try and I was at my old­est sis­ters for safe keep­ing. My guardian angel was surely with me that day. My sis­ter, dis­gusted at our Mom, took mat­ters into her own hands and taught me all that I needed to know. And I was thank­ful. But now, I have my own prob­lem looming.

No mat­ter how much you want to bury your head in the sand or move to a desert island your kids still grow up. This year, my old­est and my only daugh­ter, Attie is in 4th Grade. What’s the big deal? The MOVIE is quickly approach­ing. I have no idea what the MOVIE is, what’s involved or included–all of it is a hazy guess and spec­u­la­tion on my part. I’m fig­ur­ing it cov­ers basic body parts, pos­si­bly puberty and maybe basic birds and bee infor­ma­tion. I get to go for a pre­view before the class gets to see. Screw pop­corn, I’m hop­ing we’re allowed to bring a flask with us.

I’ve been dread­ing this moment for a life­time, but I must buck up. I don’t want to do to my girl what was done to me. For blank sake, even if it’s hard, I’m sure I can do this. As I gave birth to a prude, yes, it’s obvi­ous at the ripe old age of 9–all of the out­ward signs are there, she’s not going to make it easy for me. We’re both going to be uncom­fort­able. We will never hold pub­lic con­ver­sa­tions with each other about our sex lives like other mom’s and their daughter’s (umm humm! you know who you are and I know who you are). I will have this con­ver­sa­tion with her and will make myself follow-up with her every once in awhile just to make sure we’re on the same page about everything.

Just typ­ing this out has me in a cold sweat. My mouth is dry and I’m scared and wor­ried that I’ll screw it up. I’ve started tak­ing some pre-conversation mea­sures so that I’m not going to com­pletely blind side her when we talk. I made her read “Are you there God, it’s me Mar­garet” this Fall. She can’t stand to being told what she has to read, but by golly I insisted she read it. Once she started, I think she enjoyed it. It’s been 10 years, we don’t need to say how many since I read it. Of course, I didn’t read it again before I gave it to her to read. I sure hope it all still applies.…… Prob­a­bly the best thing I decide to do so far on this new jour­ney was pur­chas­ing “The Care and Keep­ing of You” col­lec­tion from Amer­i­can Girl. She won’t share any of it with me, but when she’s been out, I’ve taken a cou­ple of peeks at the set she keeps tucked into her loft bed. It’s fabulous–well writ­ten, straight for­ward, no fluff.

The seri­ous count­down has begun. I have maybe two months but more than likely just weeks left before I have to open the chan­nels of com­mu­ni­ca­tion. Man, for the gazil­lioneth time since becom­ing a Mom, I wish I had the power to freeze and stop time.

Do you have a daugh­ter? Have you had “the talk” with her yet? What else do I need know to steel pre­pare myself for this. No mat­ter how hard or uncom­fort­able for either or both us, this is impor­tant to me and I want to make sure I do it right. I just hope I don’t pass out when I start talking.


2 thoughts on “I knew this was coming

  1. Karen: I did not know you felt so umcom­fort­able about all of this. and I do not think you are a prude, just a nice Chris­t­ian girl/ woman with Chris­t­ian morals…I will share with you and help you with this so you are pre­pared. I was blessed to have the great­est Mom and Dad who some­how explained this sub­ject in a very com­fort­able way, my mom with me and my dad with my broth­ers. I thought every­one had par­ents like mine, but I very soon real­ized I was in the minor­ity. We were able to have girl/mom daugh­ter talks as I went though jr high and sr high then col­lege, I was known as a goody two shoes, I was raised with morals and stuck to them. I was respected by my peers though. I have learned with Heather that I have to be approach­able when she wants to share things with me…sometimes there are things I do not want to hear but in our soci­ety today, it is so awe­some if our daugh­ters come to us instead of some­one else, they need to feel safe with us, in that, iIF some­thing did hap­pen, an unex­pected preg­nancy, or some female prob­lem, we want them com­ing to us and know­ing that we love them and will lis­ten and help them. Heather and I are close, she knows that I may not like every­thing she shares with me, but she at least knows I will love her no mat­ter what…You may think you will never be able to have a com­fort­able con­ver­sa­tion about female things.…periods, birth con­trol, what­ever, but you will be able to, I promise. I think the role we have as a mom for our daugh­ters is to be a safe place to come, for ques­tions, feers, com­fort and accep­tance. No, we are not the girl­friend to them that they may talk in detail about their boyfriend rela­tion­ships, but the way we han­dle our con­ver­sa­tions with them on these top­ics have a last­ing, sig­nif­i­cant pur­pose in the way they will han­dle a boy girl rela­tion­ship, and onto mar­riage. It is actu­ally really very impor­tant to make them feel con­fi­dent about their bod­ies, and proud of who they are and what God aspects of them.…This is just a begin­ning for you, but you will be just fine…and I will help you in any way you want.…You are an awe­some woman Karen.…and mother, you have way more great insight in this than you real­ize. We will con­tinue with this later…and by the way, the book by Judy Blum.…my mom gave it to me, and I had Heather read it I think in 5th grade. You are doing every­thing right.…

  2. Oh Karen! I am crack­ing up at this.….laughing for you not at you.…because I am obvi­ously not laugh­ing WITH you! My daugh­ter is just get­ting ready to turn three, so right now my biggest fem­i­nine dilemma is keep­ing crumbs out of her who-ha because she likes to eat snacks a la nat­u­rale while watch­ing Cail­lou. You have the right atti­tude and you can do it. Be there for her and don’t avoid the topic! I am the oppo­site and can remem­ber bug­ging my mom to death about peri­ods and other stuff because I wanted to know it all and make sure I got the right infor­ma­tion! My poor mom!

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