Our Story Begins:
The Education in Sex-Ed
Just about a week before my kids began their summer vacations they had a big piece of homework.
They said I had a piece of homework, too.
Let me start with saying I wasn’t too pleased with how they handled the homework, particularly in the subject, which in the old days we just called sex-ed.
It wasn’t the “sex” part that bothered me, by the way.
The homework packet involved my kids having to interview their parents about . . . well, about being parents. They had to ask their Dad, of course.
But my kids don’t have a Mom to ask. When they brought that up the teacher told them they had to do it anyway, in no uncertain terms. “Find a mom,” was basically the end of the conversation. So needless to say I was less than thrilled to begin with.
The questions were innocent enough:
“What was it like to have a child”
“Were you prepared to have your first child?”
“What was it like the first time you held your child?”
“How old were you when you had your first child?”
“What age do you think someone should be when they have their first child?”
My wife passed away in 2011, so having to ask about “mom” things for school always bothers the kids and it particularly bothers me when the teachers think they’re just trying to get out of work. They aren’t simply trying to explain how hard this is for them.
They asked my mother, instead. The questions weren’t that awful different for her, to be honest. When my oldest heard how young my mom was, she gasped. “I would totally not be able to have a kid right now,” she said. I agreed. Not because she couldn’t handle it, I thought I was too young and not mature enough when I had my oldest. We lucked out in the fact we didn’t kill her in the first few months of her life. I’m amazed she didn’t end up with a mohawk, safety pins in her nose and hating her parents. We certainly had no idea what we were doing at the time.
But the questions drove home a point: having a kid is a lot of work and a lot of responsibility. The joy of holding your baby for the first time is immeasurable (which is what I told them) but it’s also a horrific amount of work.
Related: Our Story Begins: Not 21 Anymore
The question that left my kids flabbergasted, though, was “What surprised you about having a kid?”
“Tell them I haven’t had a decent night’s sleep since 1994.” My kids were stunned.
“No, really, what’s your answer?”
“That’s my answer. It’s honest and it’s the truth.”
My kids walked away unsure how their teacher would respond.
“I think they’ll be really happy someone put an honest answer down,” I told them.
How about you? Have you had these kind of frank discussions with your kids? How did they go?