Monday, October 4, 2010

The BIG Question...You Know the One

When my oldest son was about five years old, he asked me the big question.  I didn't see it coming at all.  I was changing my daughter's diaper, and my son said, "She has a baby in there."

"Oh no, no.  Ha, ha.  No, she doesn't."  I continued changing her diaper, blithely unaware of the trap I was hearing toward.  My son fixed me with a determined look.  "Well, then, Mommy - how does the baby get IN there?"

I started to stammer:  "Aahhh, well, you see..." but then broke off.  I was aghast.  I wasn't prepared for this.  Pre-parenting (and pre-sleep deprivation) I'd had pleasant thoughts about what a fabulous parent I would be, and how I would know exactly how to answer every single hard question my children asked me because I would be completely prepared.   Well, somehow in the tumult of raising three children, I had forgotten to prepare notes for this day.  And most importantly, I hadn't had NEAR enough sleep the night before in order to be able to answer this properly!  I looked around for help.  My middle son was throwing his crackers on the floor and stomping on them.  No help there.

My oldest son seemed to realize I needed a nudge.  He leaned toward me, saying earnestly: "Mommy, I'm going to be a Dad one day, and I don't know how to do it!"

I cast about desperately for an answer, and then it came to me:  "When a Mommy and Daddy love each other, they can create a baby." Colin accepted this, thank goodness. 

I threw myself on the couch.  Whew!  That was exhausting.  How am I going to handle puberty?

I remember the time I was at a gas station, and I heard some music being blared from a car stereo.  A flashy sports car sped in, and screeched to a stop.  A teenage boy jumped out on a wave of testosterone.  His hair was all gelled and spiky and he sauntered over to the gas pumps.

I was speechless, shocked by the realization that I was raising two of those!  The responsibility seemed overwhelming.

Now I realize that I just have to do my best, and teach my children (all of them, including my daughter) how to be good to other people, to respect themselves and others, and how to take responsibility and be able to do the hard work life requires.  Just a small, easy job, really.  No problem. 

1 comment:

Michelle said...

so... how am I going to handle puberty? For a boy, let the dad's deal with it. This theory (aka hope to hell) of mine means that I'm off the hook! No, but seriously, I guess the most honnest answer, based on their age is probably the best thing. It seems logical, right?

They do notice stuff though. I had to explain once why I wear 'diapers' once a month to my oldest. I lock the door to the bathroom now.