** Gentlemen: this post is not for you. It is inappropriate in so many ways. Consider yourself warned.
Here are some words for you from my Wonderfully Made parent meeting tonight…. “Don’t give away your power by being silent.” Good ones, right? Here are a few more…. dental dam, transgender, and oral sex — all of which were found in the workbook glossary. Jesus be a fence and a wall and a nuclear bunker. I am not ready for this. It’s on its way, but I am not ready.
Our church is offering a class for all 5th and 6th grade students on sexuality and what it means with respect to our relationship with God. It’s going to be a great class. Think anatomy and physiology and humor and inclusion and answers and puberty and understanding and a safe environment to ask ALL the questions. It’s phenomenal and I’m so glad that it’s available to these kids so they know what’s happening to them and how to handle it as they embark on their adolescent years. Rah rah sis boom bah and a bucket of birth control. BUT I AM STILL NOT READY FOR MY CHILD TO BE OLD ENOUGH to need to be equipped with this information. She needs it – do you have any idea the flow of bad information that is sure to start coming her way as she heads into middle school? I think not. Honestly if I could convert to Catholicism and send her to a nunnery right now I would, and don’t think I wasn’t Google-ing it in the meeting, I was. Turns out it’s a pretty complicated process that I cannot complete by the end of the week. More’s the pity.
But, after I stopped grimacing and twitching as I skimmed the book I settled into the idea that this is the world we live in now and information and misinformation are free and everywhere. She needs to know. But the bigger question plaguing me tonight was this — where was all this enlightened teaching when I was growing up? I mean. I feel like we got the short end of the stick in this arena Ladies. All the puns intended. Don’t you?
I didn’t get this information and I’ll bet a dental dam you didn’t either. The extent of my sex ed was getting pulled into the auditorium with the other girls at the end of 4th grade by the gym teacher, being made to watch a movie called “The Miracle of Life” or some such crap which traumatized me for life regarding childbirth, and walking out an hour later dazed, emotionally scarred, and holding a box of Always maxi pads with wings. I can only imagine what they told the boys. Miracle of life my ass.
The extent of my discussions with my parents hinged on “don’t do it” and so I launched myself on the unsuspecting college populace knowing less that nothing about sex and my body. And I mean less than nothing. And to be honest, I was just fine with that. Boys were loud and hairy and smelled vaguely of Axe and beer, which to my 18 year old self was not an overly enticing combination, and I had classes to take anyway so I didn’t have time for that mess. I’ve got two lovely daughters and a moderately happy husband now so clearly I figured it out, but I wonder how things would have turned out differently had this been a topic that was openly addressed in the early 90’s. I’m not sure what I would have done with said knowledge, but I think it would have been nice to know? Maybe? Just the basics every girl should know — like two people with braces should not make out. Also sex by the dim glow of a black light poster — not what God intended for you. Oh, and if you don’t know the full name his mother calls him when he’s in trouble, it’s a no go. Also, backseats: not a good idea. And if dinner involves a drive-thru restaurant, also not happening. Likewise the idea that potentially creating a life that is half this person who thinks beef jerky is a legitimate food group is a poor one. Just the basics, like I said.
I feel like a lot of unnecessary pitfalls could be avoided if lists like this were the next step in the Wonderfully Made curriculum. Maybe I’ll make a suggestion at the next parent meeting, but this time we had the onerous task of writing a note to our kid for them to read at the start of the course so they know that we know what they’re about to get and we are on board. Serenity now, Lord.
I watched the mothers around me write flowing prose about how proud they are of their kid and how much they love them and all the right, wonderfully incisive thoughts on this topic. Naturally, I had nothing of worth in the moment, so here’s a semblance of what mine got…
“Hey kid. It’s just biology. Don’t make it weird.
That’s less traumatizing than a free box of maxi pads, right?