We are four days into the new school year, and an ominous future looms large before us. My boy brought it up over dinner after his first day of fifth grade: “You know, I’m going to have family life this year” (cue menacing, foreboding soundtrack).
We’ve known this in theory; it was a scandalous premonition last year when we watched the then-fifth graders emerge like moles from their burrows, blinking and stunned, after their sessions. I remember thinking that our boy would be fine when his time came; he’d have endured the talk at home well before the topic was broached at school.
Imagine learning about family life (dun dun duuuuuuun) from your teacher? Even your hippie, self actualized, first-name-basis charter school teacher? My boy would die. The only thing I can imagine that would be worse than that is the possibility that I’m going to have to tell him myself.
I always dreamed that this would be a strictly man-to-man talk. That because he shares the same “front privates” as our son, my husband would naturally assume the responsibility of explaining the true purpose of the equipment. But the thing about that is............... have you met my husband? I think it's going to have to be me.
My boy would simply not consider his man-bits in the same thought bubble as a girl. He communicates with the opposite sex by clinging to the belief that they do not exist. The girls in his class really don’t even count as people. But I must say that he’s been asking me lately about my first boyfriend, and my first kiss, and if I liked boys in fifth grade. And you know what? I did! Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think I kissed Skip Hagerty in fifth grade! Holy shit. My boy still talks about plans for his next birthday to take place at an amusement park or a bowling alley. By February, is he going to change his tune and request the disco ball and a bunch of empty bottles?
I think that many of you will say that you’ve already had the talk with your 10 ½ year olds. Some kids are just more street smart than others. My boy is not savvy to the ways of the world, he is keeping too busy inside of his own head to notice much of what's going on around him. And all I can think of when I imagine having this talk with him, this talk when I try to explain that which does not matter now, but will become critically important to him in the very near future, is that once he figures out that mommy has actually done these things… with Daddy… he’ll never look me in the eye again.
to be continued...God help me