I now understand why parents have years and years to prepare for THE TALK.
I have not been a parent for long; less than 2 months to be exact. However, as the mother of a handsome teenage son with a pretty girlfriend he's been with longer than I've been with my current boyfriend, I knew that this all important discussion would occur at some point.
Michael's girlfriend came over to the house and I allowed the two of them to go to Michael's room under the condition that the door be wide open. I occasionally peeked in, to see them laying on the bed, on their backs, side by side, simply talking. As I walked away, I could no longer hear them talking. Wanting to slightly embarrass them, I yelled out, "If the two of y'all are making out in there, Grace is never allowed back in this house again!"
A few minutes later, Grace went home. Michael came and sat next to me on our living room bed that functions as a couch. As a child who experienced little affection growing up, Michael craves physical touch. When we watch tv at night on our bed/couch, I usually sit with my back on the wall while Michael lays down, using my lower thigh (knee area) as a pillow. I usually lay my arm on his arm or run my fingers through his hair. To some it may seem inappropriate considering his age. When you grow up with your main source of physical touch being physical abuse, you seem to crave it as you age. Michael never experienced the typical signs of affection from parents growing up, so he is getting it now. Please excuse the tangent; back to the regularly scheduled blog.
We resumed our usual spots on the bed/couch. Michael turned on the tv with the volume on low. "Why'd you say that, Rachel? It was really embarrassing." Little did I know that these words would lead to THE TALK.
Before I became a mom, I always told myself that when I did become a parent, I would tell my child the truth about my past as well as the truth about sex in general. I told Michael that I worried about him because I knew what I was doing in high school and it certainly isn't what I want him to do. I told him the complete and total truth, including all of the things that I wish I hadn't done.
I then told Michael that I wanted him to know the truth about sex and began to tell him about rumors and old wives tales that are spread about sex.
1. A girl cannot get pregnant the first time she has sex. A guy cannot get a girl pregnant the first time he has sex. DEBUNKED.
2. A girl can get pregnant from swallowing during oral sex. DEBUNKED.
3. A girl cannot get pregnant when she is on her period. DEBUNKED.
Myth #3 then led to a discussion that I didn't think I would need to have with Michael. I told him this myth and he looked at me and asked, "What's that?"
"What's what," I asked.
"A period. What's that?"
Deep breaths, Rachel, deep breaths.
Thus began the scientific explanation of menstruation.
Michael's response was classic. He was shocked beyond words. After I explained everything, he looked at me and said, "So you're telling me that you bleed every month? From down there?"
"And Grace, too?"
"Yes, Michael. Grace bleeds every month, too. Pretty much every girl does until they are in their 40s or 50s."
"Wow. I cannot believe this!"
Holy sweet goodness! Here I am giving The Talk way before I thought I ever would. But it wasn't over.
Michael looked up at me and said, "Can I tell you something?"
My heart stopped. I expected the worst.
"Yes, Michael, you can tell me."
"I really really really really really really really wanna have sex with Grace, but I'm really really really really really really really scared."
Thank you dear sweet baby Jesus. I was worried about becoming a grandmother at age 26.
I explained to Michael that what he was feeling was totally normal. I explained how teens have hormones that are making them sex crazy. I told him that it wasn't just boys that felt this way, but girls, too. I mentioned how humans are, technically, animals, and that, like most male animals, men want to spread their seed as much as possible, and that's why his hormones were running wild.
What I really wanted to tell him was that as long as you are in a loving, caring, committed relationship, that sex is a perfectly normal thing. However, considering that he and Grace have been dating for 2 years, I did not want to give him permission to have sex.
I told him how sex is a natural way of showing love and affection, but that it can also be used in a purely physical way, that many people have sex simply because it feels good. I explained that sex was a million times better if you did it with someone that you love and care about than someone you just kinda like.
I also tried to tell Michael that sex completely changes a relationship. I mentioned that sex was like pringles, because once you pop, you can't stop. Once you've started having sex, you'll never want to stop. I explained that sex changes the dynamic of a relationship as well. I told him that I hoped he would wait at least until he graduated from high school. I also told him that no matter what I told him, I could not stop him from having sex. All I could do is hope that he would take my advice and wait. At the same time, I also said that if he did decide to start having sex, that I hoped he would tell me so he could learn to be a responsible sexual partner.
I really hope that I didn't screw him up with my version of The Talk.