I knew this day was coming.
I had already realized that nobody sits their children down in the living room anymore, signaling to them that something important is about to go down when the parent is ready to have “the talk”.
These days, the opportunities are numerous for a parent to be able to start the conversation about the facts of life – and the sooner the better. Despite knowing this however, I completely missed my chance to do so. That’s probably because when the occasion presented itself, it caught me a little off-guard.
My son, in his Social Studies class was discussing the different types of families and the problems that some of them can experience. We’d gone through some of the problems, solutions and the agencies or organizations that could help, for some homework questions.
When the test came, and I was reviewing the results, I saw that he had mentioned teenage pregnancy as one of the issues that young people can face. I guess he got that from the discussion in class, because it was the first time I was hearing about it.
He was asked to suggest a solution that would prevent teenage pregnancy, and his answer to that age-old concern was – well let’s just say it’s something that involved sports. And I blurted out that the best way I could see that teenage pregnancy could be avoided was to not have sex in the first place.
This was not exactly how I figured I would be having my first talk with my children about sex. Or maybe it was a tailor-made opportunity. However, I lobbed it back.
But not before my daughter asked me whether I had ever had sex. And I answered that “I had kids didn’t I?”
What should have followed was talk about penises and procreation, budding breasts and boys, and the fact that some things are a natural part of life, but that they shouldn’t take place before a certain time in life, that certain actions can limit your choices in life, and that I want to give them all the information to make proper decisions in life.
Instead, my son made a mental correction and we moved on to the next question.
And I breathed a sigh of relief, determined to be ready when my second chance came around.