“What does ‘making love’ mean?” my twelve year old step-daughter asked me as we were driving home one afternoon.
Immediately, my hands started to sweat, my heart started pounding and I totally wanted to throw up.
Holy Cow! I’m not ready for this! Don’t they have a class on this at school? Can I just pretend to have laryngitis? Isn’t this out of the jurisdiction of a step-mom? Where is her dad?!?!
“Ummm…I think you should talk to your dad about that one,” were the only words I could manage to squeak out.
“Oh, so you don’t know either?”
I was completely blind-sided and not anywhere even CLOSE to being ready to be having this conversation. With ANY of my four kids.
As you can probably surmise, I did not have open conversations with my parents about sex. In fact, to this day, I prefer to believe that my brother and I were delivered by the stork. Just the thought of my parents in the bedroom will send me to therapy for a year. So for my delicate psyche, the stork is a much safer bet.
Sidebar: I remember being so excited to start my period (sick and twisted, I know). Yet, I dreaded telling my mom and tried to hide it from her by sneaking tampons from her bathroom. In fact, I pretty much would have rather had my toenails yanked off than have any type of the birds and the bees conversation with my parents.
And so, the cycle continues.
Thank goodness, my husband rocks in the crucial conversation department.
While I run for the hills at any sign of an uncomfortable discussion (this, by the way, has not boded well for me over the years. I realize I have serious issues), my husband addresses things head on like a Mack truck.
He forces me to face things, when I would much rather lie in the fetal position with my head under the covers. While I hate it at the time, in hindsight, I am always thankful he made us have that conversation.
However, I am still not ready to talk to my kids about sex. I’d rather just hand them a picture book and send them on their way.
And if the little darlings have questions?
Go ask your father.
Marnie Fernandez is an official kid-wrangler of four and a professional laundress. When not chasing kids, she is a blogger and freelance writer who writes about her misadventures in motherhood in a blended family on the plains of Oklahoma.