Telling Tales – The Talk
By BECKY ANDREWS
I didn’t even know this would be awkward. Before becoming a parent and right up until this day, I swore I was going to be a cool, open-minded, honest parent who answers ALL of my children’s questions.
Nothing would be off limits. Coincidently, this was also when I maintained my children would never watch TV, never eat food with preservatives and they would be chess champions by the age of five (a la Bobby Fisher style). However, my youngest was singing the Spongebob Squarepants theme song before he was two, and once when their aunt offered them homemade brownies they let her know they preferred the kind with plastic wrap, “Like our mama makes.” So I should have known I’d falter on the “completely open minded, cool parent thing.”
After a long day, I came home and sat down to relax for a bit before going to bed. My oldest came bounding down the stairs ecstatic about something.
“Mama, Guess what?! Guess what?!”
“What is it?”
In my naivety, I assumed he was going to tell me he cleaned his room or maybe finished the science project I started. That would be too easy.
When he reached the sofa, he threw his arm up and proclaimed, “I’VE GOT PIT HAIR!”
My heart felt like it was in my throat. I didn’t know what to say. This was just the beginning of my little almost 12-year-old boy growing ever so swiftly into manhood. Jacob would be the guinea pig once again. Any mistakes we make with talking our oldest through this stage of life would be corrected by the time his little brother was ready to make the transition.
I took a deep breath and still not believing my ears said,
“Let me see Jacob. Have you taken a bath? It could be dirt or a shadow.”
He was right. Of course, I couldn’t show my disappointment. He was looking at me with those big, blue eyes so excited. The kind of excitement he usually reserved for a new Xbox game. Now he was excited about pit hair? It wouldn’t be long before he’d be driving, heading to college and one day getting married. Even though this revelation made me physically ill, I encouraged him to tell me what he was so excited about.
“Do you know what this means, mama?”
“What does it mean, Jacob?”
“With all this hair, I’ll really stink now. That’s so cool!”
With that, I knew he was still my little boy and all those embarrassing talks could wait a little longer.