My second grader slammed the front door and rushed into the kitchen from school. “Mom, guess what?” she called. I looked up and noticed her flushed cheeks.
She has news.
This could go either way, I thought.
I braced myself for the revelation. Just last week ‘her life was ruined’ because a mean boy beat her out of the Science Fair. (All boys are mean, now, and gross). She had just stopped weeping about not winning the American Girl doll in the school raffle. I just love those raffles. Well, mainly because they are so fair and encouraging for children.
“Mom, the coolest thing happened!” she said excitedly.
Whew, I thought.
“My friend became an Aunt last night. Isn’t that awesome?”
“Yes, honey, that’s wonder–, an ant?” I asked trying to clarify.
“No, Mom. Her sister had a little baby and now she gets to play with a baby at home and—“
I stopped her. Abruptly. “How old is her sister? The girl who had the baby.”
“She’s fourteen,” clearly my daughter didn’t really have a grasp on age or age appropriate activities.
I noted her excitement, even envy. I took a deep breath and decided I would speak softly and try to explain why this was not to be desired.
“WWhhaatt?” I said a little too loudly. “That is not good, NOT GOOD AT ALL,” I bellowed.
Her eyes filled with tears and she ran to her room.
I handled that smashingly. Don’t you think?
Gathering my thoughts, I sat down on the edge of the sofa. How do I explain poor choices when she doesn’t even know those choices exist? She’s eight. Eight years old.
I went to her room and hugged her close. “I’m sorry I yelled.”
“Why are you mad? It’s just a baby.”
Oh man. “I’m not mad about the baby. That baby is precious and is from God. But do you think girls should be mommies when they are fourteen?”
I couldn’t blame her non-responsive answer, you know, considering my outburst.
“What do you think?” I prompted. (My parenting tip to all: ask this question when you are at a loss for words).
Again. A shrug. I’d scared her into silence. Way to go, mom of the year.
“Well, when you want, we can sit down and talk about this. I’m glad you are excited for your friend. And, um, never mind.”
Again. What an excellent response.
I went to my closet and dug out this book I’d bought a couple of months earlier.
A few of my friends talked about it and I’d read it was a great place to start with questions and answers about the body and stuff. (Stuff would be the general term I use to refer to parts, especially my eight year old’s.) It’s a book series presented from a Christian view. It also has a giant gold seal on the front because it’s an award winner.
I discovered gold sealed-award-winning books can still shock you.
I also learned a lot from that book. Really. If I’d had it, it would have cleared up many things on my honeymoon. It was so informative and detailed.
I hid it away in my closet. For later. Much later. This was the first book in a series of four and was written for children even younger than my daughter. And, for very brave parents.
Now, as I held it, I decided it was time for the talk. Not THE talk, just A talk. More like a subtle introduction to THE talk. For children. Young children, I want to stay young. Clear as mud, ain’t it?
I talked it over with my husband and we re-read the book. I’ve mothered three children. You’d think all my questions would be answered, and yet, my mouth still hung slightly ajar with every reading.
Help me, Lord.
So this is how it went:
know the friend you told me about, who’s an aunt?”
She wiped her chocolate shake mustache off and froze. “Yeah,” she said in an unsure tone.
“Well, I just wanted to talk with you about um . . . why that’s not the best choice for you. When young girls have babies it makes it harder for them to finish school and go to college. Many do it, but it’s very hard. Plus, your Daddy and I believe God’s given us a plan, an order for how things work best.”
So, I pulled out the book. And I opened it v-e-r-y s-lo-w-l-y.
I read it to her. I didn’t laugh or cry once. There was an excessive amount of gulping, though, and blushing-lots of blushing.
My daughter was mature and only giggled twice.
And as I closed the book she listened intently when I said this:
“One day God will send you someone special to your share life with. He will be the daddy to your children. God put certain steps in order, so we can avoid mistakes. If those steps are out of order, you won’t have as many choices. Mommy and Daddy love you and we will always love you no matter what choices you make, okay?”
And that’s exactly how I plan for The Talk to go.
When I get up the nerve, to tackle it, that is.
One day I’ll order the rest of the books. When I’m more grown up.
More amazing tackles at 5 Minutes for Mom.
Food for the Soul:
Mark 10:6-9 “