And by meaningful, I mean they say stuff, or ask me questions, about things they wouldn’t normally if we were with other people.
(The other place they do this is when they’re lying in bed, in their darkened bedrooms. As I say goodnight to them, they blurt out questions as far-ranging as whether girls can ejaculate or how to say orange in Spanish. But it’s mostly a stall tactic.)
I’ve always been open with my kids which must be why they feel free to ask me just about anything. And I love that.
And I’ve always tried to answer their questions honestly, talking to them about sex, drugs and whatever else they’re curious about. But answering them without giving them more information than they need. Or at least trying not to. (Check out Erectile Dysfunction, Spinach and My Kids.)
The other day, my daughter and I were in the car going to get some Thai take-out. And we just happened to be listening to a rap song. (My daughter is a huge fan.) And the word sex just happened to have been muttered. (What a surprise.)
And this was the conversation that followed, after I changed the channel.
Kid: Why haven’t you ever sat me down and told me about the birds and the bees like other parents?
Me: Because you’ve been asking me questions about it since you were 5. (Thinking, by now, you probably know more than me thanks to your taste in music.) Do you have any new questions?
Kid: Mom, how old were you when you lost your virginity?
Me: I was in college. I was 20.
Kid: Who was it?
Me: Oh, it was Lance (name has been changed to protect my pristine reputation). My first real boyfriend. We both really cared about each other and I really trusted him. (Thinking, and look where that got me. He cheated on me with his high school girlfriend. But I got him back by dating his best friend.)
Kid: Oh, so you were a loser and nobody wanted to be with you?
Me: (What? Oh shit, how did she know? Then thinking, my feelings have just been really hurt by my kid but what should I do in this situation? And do I have to worry about her? That she thinks not having sex makes you a loser? We’ll have to keep talking about this. At a later date.) No, I wasn’t a loser. I just hadn’t met anyone that I felt that way about. (Okay, so maybe I was a loser. But I sure made up for lost time.)
Kid: You know kids have sex when they’re in high school.
Me: Everybody’s different. But I hope you wait until you’re with the right person. No matter how long it takes.
Kid: And use a condom?
That’s my girl.
I just hope she never asks me about anal sex. Even I have my limits.
Image via jenny8lee/Flickr