My mother recently told me about a friend of her’s who had an interesting approach to the dreaded “birds and the bees” talk The Other Sarah discussed yesterday. Every time her son Norman would leave the house, even if it was to go to the store with his sister, she would give him a little reminder.
“Remember, Norman. Sex makes babies!”
This woman was clearly brilliant.
I’ve been thinking a lot about sex education lately. Like The Other Sarah, I have a steady stream of friends adding to his or her family. Griffin’s friends become big sisters and big brothers with such regularity it no longer makes much of an impact on him - most likely because he doesn’t remember NOT being a big brother.
No, it’s not his questions that keep this topic in the forefront of my thoughts. It is my own.
Over the past year I have had several family members face parenthood unexpectedly. Some were already in committed relationships and merely faced the prospect of parenthood sooner than they had planned. Others had their lives turned inside out when they suddenly faced raising a child with someone they barely knew.
However, each one has forced me to contemplate how I would like my own sons to become fathers. Watching those close to me have life’s major moments thrown at them, as opposed to chosen, has made me realize how conservative I am. It has made me realize how badly I want my children to date, fall in love, get married, and THEN have children.
Of course, here is where I make some MAJOR asides. I am conservative in that I’d like them to be in a committed relationship before becoming parents. I am liberal in that I have absolutely NO preference as to the gender of said person or how they chose to honor that committed relationship. A big fancy wedding with a beautiful bride all in white? Great! A backyard party after years of cohabitation with a handsome man in a suit? Sounds fantastic!
Either way I want parenthood to be something they welcome into their lives happily. Not because I think those who don’t are bad people or because I believe there are some moral repercussions otherwise, I don’t. I’m not even saying every little accident is worse off. I know some seriously blessed and seriously happy “accidents.”
I’m just saying if I get to chose the trajectory of my children’s lives (which apparently you don’t! Refund!) I’m choosing a path that includes two people tackling parenthood purposefully and together and in their own time. (Although, nothing but best wishes Ann Perkins!)
Like any mother, I just want my children to be happy. I want the things they bring into their lives to make them happy. I want them to understand that the best things in life have the power to make you both really really happy or really really sad.
Sex is no exception.
~ Sarah Stewart Holland