“You do it,” she said. It was more of a command than a request.
“Don’t they teach it in school anymore?” I asked, knowing there was no way to sidestep the inevitable.
“It would be better if he heard it from you, you know that.”
“But I liked the videos they showed us in sixth grade.” I really did find them educational.
“Didn’t your dad sit you down and have the talk?” (Insert uncomfortable silence)
The truth is, he didn’t. I’m still waiting actually.
The dreaded talk. My son is at the age where things start to get curious. Thankfully, he’s heavily into Marvel superheroes and Wii games to notice the girls on the shows he watches like “The Wizards of Waverly Place” or “Victorious.” The scary thing? I notice them. Kidding. Really. How old is Victoria Justice again?
I know I have to sit him down and chat. It definitely will be on my terms, in a comfortable setting. Not like Clark W. Griswold’s conversation with Rusty over his first beer in the desert, “National Lampoon’s Vacation-“style. It would have to be a father/son day. Maybe a trip to the comic book store, admiring Emma Frost’s choice of superhero attire.
Honestly, the reel-to-reel video I watched when I was a Catholic school boy did absolutely nothing for me. My first real introduction to the female anatomy was a porn film called “Bad Girls” my dad hid poorly. Or was I just really good at finding things? A young and noticeably thinner Ron Jeremy was the boy scout picked up by an RV of wanton women, the titular “bad girls.” The most memorable scene: Ron Jeremy getting asked “Do you like my legs? Would you like to touch them?” And as he was performing in the missionary position, he held onto his partner’s heels, looking like he was riding a motorcycle. I was eleven, that’s what it looked like to me.
I keep delaying the inevitable, I know. Just a few weeks ago, I got the “Brian… come here” beckoning. It sounded like an emergency, so I clicked off the browser of the remedial videos I was perusing to discover my son acting a bit sheepish. “You’re the man of the house,” my wife reminded me, “you need to address this.” As she closed the bathroom door behind her, I asked my son, “What’s up?” He pulled down his shorts a quarter of the way to reveal fresh pubic sprouts. Here we go… he’s getting dingle on his dangle. Oh great.
Over lunch, we asked sonny-boy if he knew where babies came from–important to determine if it was conversation he & his school mates had been having. When he responded,”vagina,” it sounded like China as he missed the “va” to which our little family table erupted in fits of laughter. Conversations about boy and girl parts are not yet being discussed among his friends. Thank goodness.
My son and I watch a lot of television together. We revel in our geekiness, so “The Big Bang Theory” is a favorite. Coitus humor goes over his head. For now. “Two and a Half Men” is no longer a suitable viewing option. “$#!t My Dad Says” borders on the no-watch list. I will never allow shows like “Jersey Shore” or “Teen Mom” to play on any of my televisions. He will never watch “Skins,” British or US version, we’ll save that for daddy.
The talk will happen soon. It’s not that I’m uncomfortable with the subject matter. It just makes me realize I’m not getting any younger and he’s definitely getting older. Maybe not receiving the talk from my father was a good thing. I’m a late bloomer as it is, and I made up for lost time. But I am not my father. Answers to questions I may have had growing up were answered with unconventional sources. The technology at my children’s disposal could do the same.
I want my son to be able to be comfortable to come to me at any time when he needs me. My father did/does a great job. I strive to follow his example. It’s time to start teaching my young paduan the ways of the Jedi.
That’s what the man of the house is supposed to do, right?