December 13, 2012

Let’s talk about sex.

Posted in Parenthood tagged , , , , , at 11:29 am by openendedcomment

In nine days, according to the Mayan Calender, John Cusack and a bevy of  very convinced “Preppers” the world as we know it will end.  I don’t exactly buy that (if  I did I assure you I would not be spending one ounce of time on a  computer much less sitting in traffic) but I do believe that my world, as I know it, has come to a shattering and screeching halt.

My two eldest children are talking about sex.  Not as in they want to know about it/let’s have the birds and the bees talk/what-does-that-mean talk but as in they know people who are having sex, one of them has been pressured that he’s not c00l until he has sex and on top of that they are teenagers with raging hormones which I am trying desperately to rein in variety.  It is killing me.  The world is ending and I want to run away screaming from this alternate universe in which my babies are contemplating and coming dangerously close to being in situations where they could have babies…and…I mean…how in the hell did this happen?!?!

Now, don’t get me wrong, I know exactly how this happened.  I was once thirteen and then sixteen, too.  I totally get that part of it and that is the reason I am so damn freaked out. What I do not and will not (I fear) get is how I ended up a Mother being faced with this situation.  How and why and just how did they get this old?  And for that matter, how am I old enough to deal with this? What has happened to my nice little world of soccer and hockey and play practice and not worrying about anything other than what time they go to bed when at a sleepover to worrying about where they sneak out to and who they sleep with?!  What on earth is going on that this is even remotely possible..?  I am at a loss.

My daughter, bless her sweet little self, started this revelation by coming home and announcing that she wanted a purity ring.  My husband paused for about .2 seconds and then responded with “OK, let’s go to the jeweler and how big do you want it?” Exactly the response you expect from a Dad the first time he hears his daughter talk about the s-word, he sprinted to buy the modern-day equivalent of a chastity belt.  My son, faced with his first girlfriend and a sophomore in high school is hearing from other sophomores and juniors how great all of this is and as any red-blooded boy would be, is curious.  I am petrified.  We have had all of the talks and we have discussed the importance of this decision and the risks involved and everything else to the point that even I am tired of hearing it.  But what keeps me up is the nagging question of…is it enough?

God I hope it’s sunk in…it has to have sunk in. 

Our daughter, when asked why she wanted the ring and what it meant to her explained to us that many of her friends were engaging in sex and almost every one of her friends’ older siblings in high school is, and as she’s starting high school next year she wanted everyone to know she was going to wait so that she wouldn’t be pressured.  Now, I feel I deserve massive credit for simply blinking hard and taking a deep breath as opposed to  either a) grabbing her and sobbing with gratitude or b) dashing to the liquor cabinet and guzzling something in order to process and calmly respond.  Instead, I asked her how she felt about her friends that were making those choices and what her understanding of the risks associated with it is…and I was impressed with her response.  I asked her to relay some of this to her brother to better help him understand from someone not his parents.  She did.  I asked how many of her friends (her close group) also had purity rings, she responded almost all and the ones that didn’t were asking for them for Christmas.  I now truly love all of those girls.  Talk about “good” peer pressure…

But despite the fact that I am admittedly thrilled with my not-so-little girl’s response and approach, I still feel as though my entire world has been turned upside down…that I am at the edge of a cliff I am nowhere near ready to go down…and I am worried sick about what the next eight years have in store.  My baby, my youngest son, is going to be ten years old in three weeks’ time.  In a matter of a few months I will have two children in high school and one in middle school.  Next year is my last year with a  child in elementary school…and I am left wondering what I’m going to do about it all.  I realize the entire world will not stop turning merely because my children are growing, but for me, it feels as though it has.  I need to be more aware now than ever before.  I have to strike a balance between engaging them daily to understand and be involved in every aspect of their lives while keeping enough distance to respect the young adults they are becoming as being capable (and though I hate to admit it, necessary in order to learn) of making their own decisions.  I have to be just close enough to be aware yet far enough to prevent them from hiding from me.  And as I type this, I have on my computer a picture taken only five years ago…little faces almost unrecognizable as the four people who call me Mom today.  I am proud of who they are becoming but I miss so very much who they were. 

I realize that stopping the world is a bit much to ask, but could we just slow down?  or let me catch up?  Something? (sigh) Oh well, today I have no time to figure out that possibility.  Today I have to work, get children from A to B several times and on the off-chance the Mayans are even remotely right I suppose I should stock up on a  few extra cans of soup on my way home.  And maybe a gun.  In case the ring ever fails.


1 Comment »

  1. Excuse me while I breathe in a bag…inhale…exhale. Oy vey…this terrifies me!!!

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