A Mother And Her Son
Life changed when my son turned seven. He was a “man,” and no longer willing to use the women’s restroom. I recognized pretty quickly that we needed to talk. My son was armed with a new set of rules to use a public restroom. I transformed myself into the caring mother standing outside the men’s room, staring at gentlemen going in to use it. I was quick to open the men’s room door and call for my son if he had been in there for any length of time.
And then it happened. The moment I prayed would take its time showing up in our home reared its weird, awkward head: Puberty!
I swear, it’s like a psychological parasite invades your home. It hit and before I knew it, my baby boy was noticing girls, and worse, they were noticing him. Now, instead of spending 10 minutes in the bathroom pretending he was taking a shower, he was spending 20 minutes in the bathroom pretending to take a shower.
I always thought that when the day came for my son to have “The Talk,” his big Birds & Bees moment would come from a man. I knew it would not be his father, I had hoped his grandfather would be up for it, but all I know is that when it was time, the burden fell directly on my shoulders. And it was… different.
He was still “son” and I was still “Mom,” but a line had been drawn. The dynamics had changed. I didn’t have a man to turn to, but I did have the internet. I knew how to carry myself when my son began to mature. I made a point to cover myself appropriately when walking around the house. My son would do the same when it came time for changing clothes or using the restroom. We were no longer just “mom” and “son.” We were now “male” and “female.”
And now when I speak about sex, he smiles. He looks like he is literally trying to physically transport himself to anywhere in the world where I am not. His “I know Mom” has changed. He “knows” not from our talks, but from the junk disguised as wisdom he watches.
Now our talks have changed. We talked a lot when a female much older than my son began to show him attention typically reserved for pay-per-view cable. That inspired me to discuss STDs. Which by the way, never again will I YouTube STDs. The images of herpes in the eye, which all my life I never knew possible, had my face instantly contorted into something unrecognizable. My son?
There came a point when these talks would make my son so uncomfortable, that we would have the discussions while riding in the car together where he was trapped in the car with me—Mom. He had nowhere to run and nowhere to hide.
My family members think I’m crazy for calling my son’s penis a “penis” and having him call it what it is. But I’m always like, “I wouldn’t give any other body part a nickname, so why this one?” I don’t want it to be taboo or seem like we can’t talk about it or anything.