Scared to Death of the Birds and the Bees

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When J was younger, one of his favorite shows was Popular Mechanics for Kids. One time, while watching an episode, he came up to me with a frown.

“What does mating mean, Mommy?”

Hubby answered: “That’s what a male and female animal does so they can have babies.”

J smirked at us. Without thinking, I asked him why.

My seven-year-old chuckled, “You and Daddy mated!”

Hubby, red-faced, responded, “Yeah, well, we only did it twice!”

I shook my head at my defensive husband. He still looked scared.

Recently B, my nine-year-old nephew, made an observation that cracked me up. Apparently, his teacher had gotten married recently and my observant nephew noticed some changes.

I could see my sister’s face change at her son’s curiosity, “Mommy, can I ask you a question? How come my teacher, when she got married, she got a lot kinder?… just that she seems happier and she is always smiling and laughing. She even brought us leche flan!”

Kids these days. I have to admit, they know so much more than I did when I was in college. Things that used to make me blush and change the conversation they now hear on a daily basis. I alternate between fearing for my sons’ innocence and worrying that mean girls would make fun of them.

About a couple of years ago, I was waiting to pick my boys up when a couple, obviously middle schoolers, started making out right beside me. I looked around at the other parents. Some looked away, some shook their heads and started whispering together, still others stared at the two with surprise mingled with disapproval. I just wanted them to get it over with before the elementary kids got out.

Sometimes I feel like we parents are in a race against society. I feel like we’re only given so much time to teach our children our values while constantly fighting against the stronger pull of their peers and the culture engulfing them. And most times, it feels like a losing battle. But what choice do we have but to keep trying, and praying, that our children make it through relatively unscathed.

There are times when I feel like I was given an easy pass with my boys. I can only imagine how my friends with daughters must feel like. Not only do they need to teach their daughters to be ladies, they also need to teach them how to protect themselves. If I had a daughter, I would watch Mulan over and over with her. The time for Sleeping Beauty and Rapunzel is long over. I would also make her take karate lessons.

However, I also worry that my sons will end up to be jerks. So I’m bent on teaching them to respect girls, to be gentlemen, to treat others (especially girls) as they want to be treated. I once told J, “You don’t look at girls as chicks, babes, eye candy. Girls are human beings who deserve as much respect as your best buddies.” He looked at me like I had gone crazy. But I felt it needed to be said. And repeated. Until the lesson hits home.

Many of the values and social norms I grew up with are now considered rigid and out-dated. I’ve had so many people tell me that if something feels right, then it’s okay to just go with it. I’ve watched most of them crash and burn, only to repeat the same mistakes over and over.

There’s this one girl I knew who kept insisting that sex did not necessarily mean emotional ties, that one night stands were better in the long run. She declared it worked out for both parties–taking advantage of the situation without expectations meant waking up in the morning without feeling bad about last night.

I once walked in on her sobbing in the bathroom. She looked at me, wiped her tears and spilled her drama. Then she said the most amazing thing, “I blame God for how things are working out. He’s supposed to be in control. So why is my life a ******* mess?” I didn’t think it was smart to point out that her choices led to where she was at the moment. Still, I walked away flabbergasted. Seriously?

If this is how it’s like now, imagine what it will be like in ten years when my kids {think they’ll} start dating. Oh heart be still! Yet, I am encouraged. There is still time to teach my boys how to make the right choices. And I still have time to work on making the future safer–for my sons and the girls they’ll get to meet.

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One response »

  1. I appreciate this…. we really need to educate our children because the world or the society will not teach them the right things. haaay, pag lumalaki nga naman ang mga anak….

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