This is the story of how my father groaned his way through teaching me about the birds and the bees…
The other day my wife pointed out
that since we have three boys and no girls, she’s off the hook and it’ll be my responsibility to eventually have “the talk” with our kids. I’m not dreading it as much as I thought I would be. Granted my oldest boy is only four so it’s still a long ways off. We’re pretty open and honest about things around here so I have no doubt that when the time comes to teach my kids about the birds and the bees it shouldn’t be too awkward. I only hope that it goes better for me than it did for my own father.
I remember the day when Dad gave me “the talk” vividly. We lived in a large two story house with vaulted ceilings that echoed so I wasn’t too surprised when I overheard my parents downstairs talking about me. Mom had decided it was Dad’s job to teach me the facts of life and was trying her darnedest to send him on his mission.
“Warren, you’re going to have to talk to him about it” Mom insisted.
“Mmmmm…” Dad grumbled (Dad was always big with the grumbling)
“You’re his father, he should hear it from you”
“Well, are you going?”
“Now?…. um… alright”
Bear in mind, at this time I was a fifteen year old sophomore in High School. I’d already learned where babies come from long ago. In elementary school I had a friend whose parents were hippie types and they had told him everything. The next day during recess we had a huddle where he went into great detail describing the process. We were all fascinated, until one by one, each boy came to the realization that that is what our parents do to one another… ew gross!
A few years later I found my brother Dale’s stash of girly magazines which cleared up any lingering questions I might have had about female anatomy and everything else was covered in Mrs. Roberts’ freshman health class (I’m still a bit traumatized by the “miracles of birth” pop-up book she showed us). Knowing what I was in for, I waited for Dad come up to have “the talk”.
I was sitting on the top step when he reluctantly came up and sat down beside me.
“So… hmmm…” he said. After this there was a moment when neither of us said anything until finally, “Hmmm…”
“Mmmm hmm?” I mumbled back, wondering where he was going with this.
“So, hmmmm… ya know…” Dad rubbed his neck and paused again, not quite sure how to start.
“Mmmm hmm” I replied.
“Mmmm hmm?” he seemed surprised.
“Uh huh” I confirmed.
“Ohhhhh” Dad seemed slightly relieved.
We both sat there next to one another on the stairs for a little bit more until Dad finally piped up with “Hmmmmm… um, hmm?”
“Um hmm” (I speak fluent Dad-ese)
“Hmmmmmm…” and with that Dad patted me on the knee, got up and went downstairs.
I could hear my parents once again. “So did you talk to him?” Mom asked. “Yeah I talked to him” Dad mumbled, “See, now that wasn’t so hard now was it?”