I’m about to make a confession — and you’ll soon understand why the source of this confession was not my proudest mommy moment.
When I first found out I was pregnant, I remember having a conversation with my mom about this tiny human I was incubating. And as my thoughts turned to this tiny human growing up, and becoming a less tiny human, and eventually entering territory only occupied by adults — I may have freaked out a little.
This freak out was never so evident as when I thought about this future-not-tiny human eventually having sex.
“It’s ok,” I laughed dismissively with my mom during a wide-eyed pause, mid-freak-out. “If it’s a boy, I’ll just tell him that the first time he uses it, it falls off. That’ll keep him from EVER wanting to use it.”
Use it — then lose it. For some reason, this seemed at the time like some seriously sound advice.
Here’s the shameful part of this story: I don’t really think I was entirely joking.
I wasn’t entirely joking, only because I had NO IDEA what I would eventually say when forced, kicking and screaming, into the conversation. Luckily, I never did tell that story.
But I was tempted. More than once.
My son is now 17, and my daughter 14. So as you can likely guess based on their almost-adultness, we eventually had the talk — many talks, actually. And I’m proud to admit they’re perfectly functioning, contributing members of society, with no hang-ups about sexual falsehoods. (That I know of…)
But in all seriousness, in my naïve freak-out circa 1998, I was ill prepared for what was to come. I had no grasp of the questions I’d be asked, or the nefarious power of the internet, or the influences of sketchy friends. In the ubiquitous “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” book, there was no chapter on this future conundrum.
While I feel I managed to talk intelligently to them about the questions they had, I think I lucked into these conversations. And it’s only now, as I reflect on this, that I realize a more proactive approach may have been the better plan.
(Lucky for me, I also now have a toddler, so I’ll get to apply these new lessons to my surprise baby. Yay me!)
Also lucky for me: This is a conversation we’ve been having on Reno Moms Blog. And that conversation is about to get personal(er).
Based on feedback from our mom (and dad) readers out there, we’ve invited marriage and family therapist Steven Ing to come talk about “the talk.” He has been having a conversation with us readers over the course of the past few months on our blog here and here, but now we’re hoping some facetime will allow for some interaction.
Rounds Bakery is the venue (they even have beer and wine!), and Ing is promising to lay the groundwork for a healthy, non-scary, non-threatening talk with your kids. He’ll talk about what’s appropriate at different stages, about how to naturally introduce topics, and about how we can work to provide our children with an intelligent perspective on human sexuality.
I’ll be there, taking notes so I can proactively adapt the skills with my third (and final) tiny human.
And for some reason, I’m anticipating Ing’s sound advice will not include my “use it then lose it” threat.
Just a guess.
Who: Steven Ing, Marriage and Family Therapist
When: Wednesday, April 19, 5:30-7 p.m.
Where: Rounds Bakery, 294 E. Moana Lane Suite 10, Reno