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.