I'm certainly not looking forward to the day(s) when it becomes time to have "The Talk" with my kids. Everyone needs to learn the facts of life at some point--whether they are taught them by parents or they pick them up on their own. I suppose that parents face a big decision as their kids start to get close to puberty--do we sit the kid down and explain things to him/her, or do we bury our heads in the sand and pretend nothing is happening and hope that everything works out fine? Obviously the former is the preferred way to go, but because of how difficult and uncomfortable that conversation can be I have a feeling that more parents opt (whether consciously of not) for the latter option. I'm hoping that we do it right. Of course what's "right" is a very subjective thing and, despite all the hundreds of parenting books that are out there, I don't think there's a real true and reliable solution that works for everyone. Every family is different. Every individual is different. And, every family's and individual's personal environment is different and unique. That's a lot to think about...
Anyway, this all seems like a pretty serious and heavy discussion, doesn't it? Well, luckily for me, I have two things working in my favor at the moment. First, my kids are only five and two--so I'm hoping that the big conversations will not be necessary for quite some time. Not only that, but my two kids are both girls. This means that I'm hoping the bulk of these talks will fall under The Wife's jurisdiction. (Don't tell her I said that though)
So why do I bring up such a touchy and prickly topic when I really shouldn't have to worry about dealing with it for a while? Well at dinner tonight The Little Monster (my elder daughter) asked a question about our family that may have been the first tentative into an area that will eventually bring up the topic of "The Birds and the Bees". We were all eating and talking about how tomorrow will be our ninth anniversary. Obviously The Little Monster wasn't even a twinkle in our eyes back in 2002. She seemed to be trying to grasp the idea of something (like a wedding) that had happened so long ago. That was when she asked The Wife if she had "borned" me like she had "borned" her and her little sister. We were slightly taken aback and also pretty amused by the question. When we asked her why she asked it she gave a pretty reasonable answer. She figured that since mothers give birth to children that become part of a family, and that everyone is "borned" to a mother--so why couldn't I have been "borned" by my wife?
After The Wife and I had a good chuckle at the notion (and of course The Little Monster didn't really get why it was so funny a question to us) we started to explain how families come together. I was telling her that we actually met as adults before getting married and then having her and her sister. Then I had to mention that her grandparents had all started their own families the same way before giving birth to us. She seemed to be grasping the idea to some extent, and the conversation was veering dangerously close to a Facts of Life discussion (which The Wife took some pleasure in jokingly prodding me into). Then The Little Monster thankfully diffused the whole situation and made me very proud of her at the same time.
As I told her that her mother's parents had met, got married and had children she listened. Then, as I told her that my parents did the same thing she interrupted me in a priceless way. I said "My Mom and Dad met as adults, got married, had me, and..." (I was about to say that they also had my eight siblings) when she broke in with "I know, I know Daddy--you had Matchboxes and watched Godzilla movies and that's how you ended up doing monster blogging." Wow! She had been paying attention! She could have asked just exactly how all these babies came to be "Borned" (making for an uncomfortable moment for us), but instead she went (semi-) off topic to make a very astute observation about my past!
I've written about The Little Monster making me proud a couple times before (in A Proud Moment for Monster Dad and Yet Another Proud Moment) and this one ranks right up there with them!