Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Facts of LIfe

I knew it was coming, but I kept thinking I had just a little bit more time.

Never doing anything exactly like you'd expect - Eli didn't ask where babies come from, but instead he asked about how children get their physical characteristics. So I take that opportunistic phrasing of the question to see if I can avoid the conversation I keep telling myself we need to have.

Me: "Well, the DNA of the mom and dad come together, and that's what determines what each child will look like."

Eli: "Yeah, but how does it come together?"

Me: "How does what come together?" (Like I don't know.) (Like if I say "What? dumbly enough, he'll forget and go back to playing with Legos.)

Eli: "The DNA."

Me: "You mean, how does the DNA come together?"
(Duh. Of course that's what he means. Has he ever seen you play this stupid before?!? Repeating the obvious?! Could I possibly make this more awkward? )

Eli: "Yeah."

Me: "Well, the man has what's called sperm, and the woman has what's called an egg, and those each carry the DNA."
(Jason walks through with the laundry at this point. I look desperately at him, but while he notices me, he just smiles, and keeps on towards the bedroom to fold clothes.)

Eli: "Yes, but HOW do they get together!?"
(He's now speaking in a voice that tells me he's on to my stalling technique.)

I get up and move from where I'm sitting to sit beside him. "Are you asking me where babies come from?"

Eli: "Yes."

I look around to make sure Julia's not in earshot and then look back at him.
He leans in, knowing this is serious, and whispers, "Is it the kiss?".
It's with the exact same voice that he used when he told me he figured it out - it was just the reindeer part of Santa Clause that wasn't true....

I smile, contemplate saying yes, and then realize that will only create trouble.
Me: "No. It's something that comes after the kiss."

I look him squarely in the eye, preparing to tell him what I have not figured out how to tell him yet. What he seems too young to know, yet what I know the world will irresponsibly and self-centeredly share in ungodly fashion regardless with no regard to his age, or to his God.

Eli leans in, his eyes wide. "Is it bad?"

Me:(jumping to a response as I realize my pausing and contemplating could have the same effect as the rest of the world telling him...) "Oh no, no! It's a gift! It's just that, when I tell you this, I want you to realize that it's something serious. It's important to God, and so it won't be something we joke about or talk about with others. Many parents haven't talked to their kids about what you and I are about to talk about, and they need to have this conversation with their parents, not you or other kids, okay?

Eli: "Well, if other parents haven't told their kids, then why don't we just wait till I'm nine?." Then he laughs, awkwardly, looking at me realizing he just turned nine. "I mean, 10.," he says.

Me: "You want to wait till you're 10? Great. Done! When you're 10, we'll talk about it. Great idea."

We both smile, a bit relieved. I can't believe I'm such a lame parent. But, I've got another year, or so I think. I'll do better the second time, surely.

The next day, Jason is tucking Eli into bed. "I heard what you and Momma began to talk about yesterday. Did you understand all that Momma said?"

Eli emphatically replies: "Not a WORD of it!"

Jason then does a masterfully simple job of sharing God's design for life and marriage. And correcting some 2nd grade misinformation.


Michelle said...

Heather I just need you know that I love hearing these stories, thank you for sharing this it made me smile :)

Richard said...

I smiled more because I am glad we have already passed that point with our kids, and NO we did not do any better job.
You do not have to tell the grandkids do you?

Hannah said...

Thanks for sharing heather. It made me smile, and laugh, several times. I don't know how I'll tell my kids when I have them and they're old enough. =D

Jeff Rader said...

You don't understand how lucky you are. Benjamin asked when he was 5 or 6 I think. I probably shared too many details, but got through it. Then, about 6 months ago, after reading the Bible about a warning against sexual sin, he asked what sex was. I told him we already talked about it, but he forgot. So, I explained again. Probably too much detail again. At the end I asked if he had any questions, hoping he'd say no. To which he responded, "How do they get the ships to fly on Star Wars?"
At that point, I realized that he was going to torture me again with this question in another year. And I still have 2 others yet to go.

Cindy said...

Cute! :-) I give books to my kids. I will send one for Eli by Joanna Cole

We are at the next age and I know I should be doing more than books, but if anyone has any other ideas or good books...I'll take them. :-)

Jill said...

Heather, I have never laughed SO hard, especially reading a blog!! I had to stop in the middle, tell my husband to listen, and then start all over again. We got the best laugh and I know I'll probably share the facts just as you did!!

DJT said...

Can Jason tell me?

Lady_Verlane said...

I hope my kids wait a while... I think you handled the situation great!!! LOL - Tana

Brenda said...

Well look at it this way. They could have learned it at daycare like mine did! Yikes! For me...we break out the medical books. ;o) The ones with not so graphic pictures.

Brandon Price said...

I don't have children yet, but being a fan of the Every Man's Battle books, I went ahead and read the book by the same author, Teaching Your Son About Every Man's Battle.

I strongly recommend checking this book out. The first half is written for fathers, talking about why and how to go about the talks in this stage of life, and the second half of the book is written to be read through with your son.

Definitely worth checking out.

Toni Burns said...

Heather, you make me smile. Somehow just hearing your name makes me feel happy. I am so sorry that we weren't able to get together when we were in Tulsa. We had a lot of fun with Jason and the kids. My kids really enjoyed their time with Eli and Julia and can't wait to spend time with them in Nov.
Give Jason our love and sorry about his grandfather.
Love you lots - Toni

Anonymous said...

Little Jimmy comes in from playing outside with his friends. He asks his mom "What is it called when two people go to bed and sleep one on top of the other?"

His mother sighs and says "It's called sex" and goes into a detailed description for little Jimmy, telling him more than he ever wanted to know.

Jimmy goes outside to play, and comes back a little later. "Johnny's mom said it's called bunk beds and she also said she needs to talk to you."

jpope1979 said...

NOt even gonna lie!

That made my night.

Thank you!

And bless your heart for even trying :-)