It was a dark and stormy night. Well, okay, it was a dark night, as most nights are. I was oh, maybe eleven or twelve years old. All of a sudden, the door to my bedroom opened, and my mother was there. “Kristan? Kristan? It’s time we had the talk.”
“But I’m dreaming about unicorns,” I may have mumbled.
“Too bad.” And there, in the pitch dark, Mother perched at the edge of my bed and informed me in as fast and clinical a way as possible, where babies came from. In a previous blog, I may have mentioned that I was a late bloomer, only receiving my first kiss just two (fine! three!) short years after I got my license. But apparently, I’d made a comment to an aunt about God sending them another baby and how nice it was. I know I was happy—another cousin to play with and command! Good old God! And hey, who was really to blame with my blissfully naïve ignorance? Mom was the one who dragged us all to church every week. God did everything, right?
Well. Not everything, apparently. In one, long run-on sentence that seemed too horrific to be true, Mother Mine whipped out words that I’d previously only seen scrawled on the seats of the school bus. I listened in utter silence and shock until she ran out of breath. Then there was only the sound of the wind.
After a few minutes, I spoke. “That’s not funny.”
“I’m going to bed,” she said. “Good talk.” Then she left me to my doomed night.
Life thereafter was quite gross. First of all…my parents! Oh, the humanity! How could I ever look at them again? There were three of us, so three times, that utterly disgusting act had occurred! Boy, they really must have loved kids to go through such ickiness. Then the horror mushroomed. My grandparents had nine children. My youngest uncle was just about the same age as I was, so that meant…!!! And what about all those cousins of mine? Apparently they too had started out in such a terribly undignified fashion! Why hadn’t anyone ever adopted a baby in our family if this was what they had to go through to become parents?
It wasn’t until I starting reading romance novels that I realized there were reasons other than the biological imperative to, um…you know. Even so, it took me quite a while to be able to read one of those scenes without dying a little.
Years and years later, my own beloved Princess Daughter asked me to confirm a rumor told to her at school about where babies came from. I took pride in the fact that I could tell her with the lights on. Her reaction: “Mommy, no offense, but I don’t care how in love you are. That’s disgusting.” (She is still currently planning to adopt all her children.)
So where were you when you learned the facts of life? And if you’re a parent, how’d you do telling your own kids?