I remember the life on the farm.
It was a simple life, full of hard work but also full of rewards. But most of all it was real. It was that no frill, no nonsense approach to life that has molded my young character and in a way made me what I am today.
I remember one year when our cow had some problems delivering.
Her cry cut the night country silence like a knife.
The whole family woke up and went to the barn to help her.
My grand mother put her hands inside the cow and was trying to reposition the calf. My grandpa was holding the cows head and I was holding the kerosene lamp – yes we didn’t have electricity on the farm.
Finally, the baby calf was born and the cow stopped her painful wailing.
My grandpa brought some warm water and started washing the baby calf while the cow was licking it. There was blood all over the ground and pieces of the placenta in a small pile. But the little baby calf so fragile and so beautiful made everything so worth while and gave the place a feeling of purity.
Life had the power to sanctify the repulsiveness of the biological act.
Sex was part of life, part of the farm existence and in growing up, part of me.
At seven I left my grand parents farm and joined my parents in the big city.
The schools in the big city were much better and my parents wanted to give me a good education.
The big city was so strange to me, so weird and confusing.
The children at school didn’t like me very much and made fun of me – the farm boy – until one day when I kicked some but and suddenly became much respected.
I remember this discussion they had about the stork and the cabbage patch kids and I couldn’t stop myself from laughing. Are you retarded? I said. Everybody knows women have sex with their husbands, get pregnant and deliver after nine months.
They laughed at me and then went straight to the teacher and informed her about the heresy I was spreading.
The teacher called me to the teachers' lounge and asked me about the incident. She said, “Who told you that?” I said, Nobody. It was just the way it was. The life that I saw with my own eyes on the farm.
They called my mother to the school and I was sworn never again to tell anybody where the babies came from.
I didn’t understand what the big fuss was all about. I thought everybody should know it. I mean what was the big deal after all.
Now I am a father of two beautiful, bright girls. We don’t offer any information on sex or sexuality to them, but we don’t lie if they ask any questions.
We had a little dog and we needed to fix her. The girls asked why and we explained it to them. No big deal.
My older daughter wants to be a veterinarian. We bought her a subscription to the Zoo book magazine. Some times the girls come and ask for some clarifications, like why a whale is a mammal and not a fish. We don’t hold back on the facts and they don’t find the facts of life inappropriate. They are just facts of life.
We have this wonderful book “Everybody poops” I wish they had one “Everybody has sex”
So what I’m trying to say is that we are not waiting for the girls to reach a certain age to give them the big talk about sex. They will find out about it even if we want or not and most likely if you don’t tell them the truth they will get wrong, distorted facts.
So when is the time to talk to your kids about sex? Any time they ask.
How should you talk about it? As frank as possible. Don’t wait till they reach puberty to talk about sex.
Puberty is the time to talk about love, relationships, responsibility and commitment, not sex. If you will wait that long you will not only make the conversation very awkward but probably give them the wrong signals like now it is OK to engage in sex because you have reached this age.
Becoming an adult is such a complicated, difficult part of life don’t make your kids' life even more complicated. Think about the embarrassing time you had when you got your big sex talk. I certainly remember mine.
I was about 16 and in the old country boys at that age were supposed to become men.
I remember my father talking to me:”Hey boy, how come you don do it, what’s wrong with you, what are you waitin’ for?” See, everybody else in the neighborhood has done it and I was the only one seemingly still a virgin.
I wanted to make my pop proud, so one day I went to him and I said: Dad you can be proud of me now. Today I lost my virginity. “That’s my boy! A chip off the old block! So how did you like it?” He asked. I don’t know pop, my butt still hurts, but I’ll tell you the next time.
Strangely enough, he never wanted to talk to me again about sex since.