It’s been a full moon, right? That must explain some of the crazinesses that have been going down under our roof. First of all, Monday night was Zachary’s last basketball game. I’m bummed that the season is over – especially because Zach has just been getting better and better! – but I’m also completely relieved at the same time. It was pretty frustrating to watch the other teams’ coaches actually coach their kids while ours couldn’t keep track of our players. My mom and brother Chris made it to watch the last half of the game. Ironically, we were playing the team that we’d played very first – you know, the team that’s apparently comprised of the semi-professional seven year olds. While we still got our butts handed to us, you could tell that (despite the lack of coaching) our boys had come a long way.
Zachary had the ball to pass it in to a teammate. Most of the time he goes for a bounce pass rather than a chest pass. His bounce pass involves taking one enormous step forward and then dramatically dropping the ball (often way too far away from his teammate). For whatever reason, Zach suddenly decided against the standard bounce pass and in front of all the players, family members and friends, he turned around, bent over, stuck his butt up in the air and passed the ball between his legs behind him. The new patented ‘Zachary Martin Pass.’
Later that night, Matthew came down to talk to me in private. And whew, sheesh, did I narrowly dodge a bullet! He started to tell me how some kids were talking inappropriately at school – body parts talk especially about how boys and girls have different parts. Matthew kind of asked some questions but then sat there waiting for me (I thought) to ‘lift the curtain’ so to speak. Now, Matthew’s only 9 ½. We’d planned on having The Talk (the birds and the bees one, yup, that ‘The Talk’ – as if there’s any other) this summer before he starts 4th grade and turns 10. I had my first sex ed class in 4th grade and we definitely want to explain things to him our way – ideally before some kids on the playground beat us to it. But we really didn’t want to tell him during his third grade school year. I told him as such.
I basically said, “You know, there’s a lot of stuff about body parts and why boys and girls have different parts and about relationships that we’re going to explain to you. We were just hoping to wait until this summer.”
I asked him if kids at school have talked about sex. He answered, “Well, yeah, I mean, they say ‘sexy.’”
“Riiiight…and do you know what that is?”
“Well, it just means like cool or hot.” (Funny how those words are complete opposites).
Anyway, I tried to get back to the BIG topic here. So, Matthew’s understanding was: there’s this big TALK we’re going to have this summer about sex (whatever that is!) and boys and girls and body parts and why they’re different…
“Yes,” I said, “But, are you going to be able to wait for this conversation?” We had already talked about how this isn’t something we want him asking friends about or talking about at school, etc. Obviously, he knows that body part talk isn’t appropriate but… “Do you have questions? Are you very curious?” I asked.
After a LONG dramatic pause (gulp), he said, “Well, yeah. I’m super curious. I have all kinds of questions.”
Deep breath. OK. Here we go.
“Like, I wonder about math equations.”
Huh? “You wonder…about math equations?” I asked.
“Yeah, like I’m really curious about how the tricky ones work. There’s a bunch of stuff that I don’t understand.”
And that was pretty much the end of the prelude to The Talk. It reconfirmed for me what I already knew: he’s a NINE year old boy. One moment, he can be enjoying the endless humor in farting, the next moment he can wonder why boys and girls have different body parts, but before we’ve even delved into it he’s moved on to…math equations.