Last week when I picked my 13 year old son up from youth group, the leaders were handing out notices to the parents announcing at the next youth group meeting they would be discussing "purity" (i.e. SEX) with the teens. My husband and I discussed whether or not we wanted to send our son to the next meeting. There are pros and cons to be considered, after all. We have discussed this subject at home with the kids already - homeschooling provides a million opportunities a day to talk about various subjects with your kids. My husband and son have also have had some of "those" talks during car trips, but frankly, I wasn't there, and who knows if the man I married gave the correct information to our firstborn? I told him what to say, but how do I know he followed my directions? How do I know he gave him wise advice like, "Wait until you are married" or if he really told him, "Use latex, it's less likely to break and ruin your whole life." I would have discussed all this with our son myself (I do know what I'm talking about after all) but once puberty kicked in, my eldest child (who's bottom I have wiped a million times) became quite sensitive about his naked self, and I have seen no more of him than his bare big toe once in a while ever since. I figured he surely would die if I tried to discuss this particular subject with him.
This led me to thinking about when he was six and we had our first talk about the birds and the bees. He had a three year old sister, and another one on the way. He had asked a couple of times how the baby got in my tummy and I had always given him a rather general answer about how Daddy planted a baby seed in my tummy. This answer always seemed to satisfy him. UNTIL. Oh my gosh, until that one day. Not at home, oh no. Not in some place where we could have a frank, honest (for a six year old) discussion about where babies come from. My little darling suddenly decided there was more to this than I was telling him while we were eating lunch at Denny's in Fairbanks, AK (which is the northernmost Denny's in the world you'll be pleased to know).
Ben asked me the usual question, and I gave him my usual answer and I swear I saw a little light bulb go off over his head, and he said, "But HOW? HOW did Daddy get the baby seed in there?" I calmly replied, "I'll tell you when we get home." The man in the booth behind us turned around and gave me an ear splitting grin. Ben continued on, "And how are they going to get the baby OUT of your tummy?" I replied, "I'll go to the hospital and the doctors will get the baby out." Ben, becoming more agitated, and therefore louder, says, "But HOW?" I replied, "I'll tell you when we get HOME." The man in the booth next to us was snickering, I could see his shoulders going up and down. Ben, not to be distracted from this conversation said (loudly), "Does the baby come out of your belly button? Did I come out of your belly button?" "No," I said fiercely, trying to get him to hush, "I'll tell you when we GET HOME." Sudden dawning realization crossed his face and he fairly shrieked, "You mean I came out of your HINEY?!?!?!" The man at the next booth was in hysterics. His wife came back from the bathroom at that point, and looked at him gasping for air and wiping his eyes with a Denny's napkin and she said dryly, "I guess I missed something." He finally managed to gasp, "I'll tell you when we get home!" I gathered up my kids, left Denny's, went to the bookstore, and bought a book about where babies come from. By the time we got home, Ben had completely forgotten the entire conversation, and I think it was a long time before we actually read the book, but eventually we did.
Now however, it's a different ball game. He knows where babies come from. He knows I didn't poop him out. Now, he's noticing girls and we have to try to deal more with the emotional aspect of where this is all heading than with the physical mechanics. In the end, we did send him to youth group. We knew they would be teaching him about waiting for marriage and not the sort of things he would be taught in the public school system. He even told me all about it on the way home, with no embarrassment.
My little boy is growing up.