My 8 year old has four days left before I sit her down to tell her where babies come from...They come from Babies R Us. No! (smacks self) I have to tell her the facts! I won't be one of those parents who tell their kids about sex by turning on late night Cinemax and leaving the room. Sigh.
What's difficult about this, because I overthink everything and assume that my daughter is innocent to an unnatural extent, is that I keep thinking that she's only got four days left of being a kid. I keep thinking that once I tell her about the drastic changes her body will soon go through, and why she will suddenly find acne-ridden, squeaky-voiced boys attractive, she will suddenly become older. Instantaneously taller, sassier, and curvier right before my eyes. And goddamn it I'm just not ready.
What I'm forgetting is that she's already started asking questions. She's heard things about kissing from a friend with an older sister, she's seen a few smokey moments between teenagers on the Disney Channel (the hussies), and she's beginning to turn her head when cute guys walk by. My six year old daughter has always been boy crazy, so I'm used to her looking at cute 1st graders, but Claire has never paid much attention until now. Oh, and she's also asked about that song "I Kissed a Girl." So on top of the "your body is going to go through a lot of changes" speech, and the "how sex works" speech, I also need to include the "a lot of people go through sexual orientation confusion because sexuality is by nature extremely puzzling and schizophrenic" speech. Hmm. I have a feeling I shouldn't spring this on her all at once. Perhaps this will be more like a course than a one-time lecture.
There are so many things I want to tell her. I want to tell her about how this all ties into love, and self-respect - especially respecting someone you love. I want to tell her everything I've learned, and have her know it without having to go through the pain of experience. But then I know she's going to go through painful experiences. I want her to know how beautiful she is, because most women don't know how pretty they are, and how a guy she's with needs to respect her body as if it was his own. I want her to know that if a guy is ever manipulative enough to say that she needs to have sex with him or he'll blow up with frustration then she should tell him that if all he needs is an orifice then he can go suck his own dick. Ok, maybe someone besides me should hand her that line. I want to tell her that a lot of people I know, including me, have been attracted to and even fallen in love with someone of the same gender. I want to tell her to never listen to people who are overly judgemental of and laugh the loudest about people's fetishes, sexuality, and etc. because they are usually the type who are secretly turned on by feces. I want to warn her about what a therapist once told me, that men are usually stimulated visually and that women are usually stimulated when someone is nice to them. I want to tell her how freeing it is to be physical with someone who truly is a nice person, someone who's your friend, who doesn't humiliate you, who wants the same things out of life that you do, who you can be vulnerable in front of, and how much worth it it is to wait for that. And to warn her that even when you have all that you can begin to take it for granted.
But most likely I will tell her about her period, ask her if she has any questions, and then take her to see "Kung Fu Panda." There's no way she can process all of that in a single night. Even though I don't like it, I know that all of this information won't be revealed to her in one day, but will unfold over years of questions, discussions, and mistakes. And she'll still be a kid next week. Hell, she'll still be a kid when she's 20.
I'll let you know how it goes. For those of you who are squeamish on the subject of bird-bee-girly talk I promise that my next post will be much lighter. I will air my views on the The Onion's take on the housing market in the hot topic article "Realtors Blame Housing Market for Slump in Creepy Mansion Sales." http://www.theonion.com/content/news/realtors_blame_housing_market_for
It shall be riveting.