Better, Not Bitter:
I Found a Condom in My Son’s Room!
We’re having a few renovations done at our house, and as anyone who has been in the situation can tell you, it throws off your routine a little. At our home one of our bathrooms is being completely updated. Of course, it’s the master bedroom bath, so I am sharing one bathroom with my sons.
The other day I had to do a telephone interview which was being taped. I decided to use my younger son’s bedroom because it was farther away from the construction and would be quieter. Imagine my surprise when I moved the pillow and low and behold, I see this shiny little square packet. I take a sec and then realize it’s a condom!
My initial thought was, “I can’t wait until he gets home so I can confront him.” He arrived back at the house while the interview was in progress. Needless to say, when he discovered I was in his room, sitting on his bed he looked quite alarmed. As I motioned for him to leave the room so I could finish the interview, I knew he was concerned about my presence in his room alone.
Now for some backstory, we have discussed sex with our son. Although we never had a big “sex talk,” it’s been a part of many conversations in one way or another. Through movies, books and incidents with other people we know. As a divorced, single mom I have also asked his dad to be sure to weigh-in on the subject. And I am thankful that my older brother has taken on a surrogate dad-type role in my son’s life since he lives in the other unit in our duplex. So I know that my son is aware of the potential pitfalls of teenage sex.
As I finished the interview and started contemplating what I would say to him, an interesting thought popped into my head. When I was 17 – the age he is now, I was having sex. Now, when my parents found out that I was sexually active in high school, they were very vocal about their opinion. And they tried to make me stop. That was like putting toothpaste back in the tube. It didn’t work.
I searched a few places on the internet for suggestions. Then I decided to say a prayer and just slow down. I thought about the kind of person my son is. Thoughtful. Compassionate. And smart. I realized he is practicing safe sex. He is not missing curfew. His grades are better than they’ve been since elementary school. He is active at church. He is doing great working to achieve his football dreams. I had to admit to myself, he’s a pretty good kid. A normal American kid.
I decided to wait for the right moment to bring up the condom discovery. I want to assure him that I support him in everything, but also express concern about the potential dangers of having pre-marital sex, especially as a teenager. I know I need to be realistic. Despite the use of condoms, sometimes the rubber breaks and unplanned things happen.
I treasure the special relationship I have with both my sons. As a result I don’t want to be a hypocrite, to tell him not to do something I was actively doing when I was his age. But I want to make sure he’s being smart and safe, every time he makes the decision to have sex. Whew, this parenting job doesn’t get any easier, does it?!