Sex Ed

Last night I was sitting in front of my laptop doing what I do best—wasting hours of my life on Facebook—when it happened.

“Mom, did you and my dad ever have sex?”

Because it came so completely out of the blue, I froze like a deer in headlights, taking some time to process the question. A flurry of answers flooded my brain all at once: “No.” “Only one time.” “What do you think?” (Answer a question with a question in hope of veering off topic.)

“Yes,” I said. “That’s how we made you.”

My 11-year-old son stared at me in horror and confusion, or rather, as if he were watching a replay of Miley Cyrus twerking on the VMAs. “Ewwww, how did that happen?”

I hauled myself out of my chair and went over to join him on the couch, thinking, Choose your words carefully so as not to scar him for life. Was I supposed to get technical here and explain that sex was like putting 2 Legos together? Be funny and say, “Well son, it usually happens when you’ve had too many shots…” Lie, and tell him it didn’t happen until I turned 30?

“It happens when 2 people love each other.” (I was careful not to say “a man and a woman,” because I want him to grow up to be progressive and tolerant.) Just as I was forming the anatomical visuals in my mind, he dropped another bombshell question: “Why aren’t you and my daddy together anymore?”

I wanted to tell my son to read my blog, except I’ve written too many posts about his penis. Instead, I said that sometimes people love each other, but can’t live together—which is a total cop-out answer, I know. But is “Because honey, your father is Dysfunctional with a capital D” any better?

“I’ll always love your father, but we’re not able to live together because we don’t get along. I love him, but I’m not ‘in love’ with him like a boyfriend and girlfriend should be.” Gah, I felt like a politician spewing a sound bite.

“I don’t want you to get a boyfriend,” he said. Oh man, really? It’s already been 10 years. Is it going to be like that for the next 10? A vision of a tombstone with the words “My Sex Drive” flashed in my mind and I wanted to sob.

When I asked him why, he said, “Because then you won’t pay any attention to me.” Awww. I am his world, this much is true.

“I will always love you and I will always pay attention to you. If I ever get a boyfriend, I have enough love to go around.” (Not enough energy, but love, yes…)

And then in typical boy fashion, he farted loudly. We both laughed, the subject was changed and I breathed a huge sigh of relief. A mother can only take so much at one time.

11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Crazy. Kinda.
    Oct 02, 2013 @ 06:50:57

    I seriously let out an audible “Awww” at “you won’t pay attention to me”. Your boy sounds very sweet. I know I have many, many years down the road before these questions hit, but I may have had a very minor panic attack just thinking about it! Sounds like you handled his questions perfectly. I am in complete denial, and hold firmly to the belief my mother only had sex twice in her life: once for my brother, and once for me. Cause, sheesh, mom’s don’t have sex!!!


    • Tiffany N. York
      Oct 03, 2013 @ 09:07:43

      Even when you start thinking about it early on and think you’re going to be prepared–you never are. That’s why I was so tongue-tied. You don’t want to say the wrong thing, but you want to be accurate. Not too many details, but enough to not have him searching the internet for answers. 6th grade is the year (this year) they do Sex Ed, so I’m in for many, many more questions in the very near future.


  2. Grief Happens
    Oct 02, 2013 @ 08:17:50

    Wow, he just comes right out with it! I think you handled that flawlessly. You’re such a good mom. So many parents would have completely evaded that question, but you got up, went over to him and gave your full attention. That’s the most important part. And I feel certain that when you meet someone worth your time, you’ll be able to be open and honest with your son about that, too. I know as mothers, and I think it’s multiplied when you’re a single parent, we always see what we’re doing wrong, but it’s so important to stop and recognize how very much we’re dong right. Okay, I sound like a freaking self-help guru. I’ll stop now. This post was also relatable and hilarious. Your sex drive DOES NOT need a tombstone, so keep it alive! Go get your vibrator so you’ll be ready when a worthy person comes along.


    • Tiffany N. York
      Oct 03, 2013 @ 09:13:17

      I always see what I’m doing wrong, or how I could be doing more. That is our downfall as mothers, I think. We can drive ourselves crazy. For example, this summer my son played way too much Xbox. I knew that. But now he’s hardly playing it and all he wants to do is play games with me and I’m like, “Go play your Xbox!” And then I feel guilty…Arrrgghh


  3. RisingSong
    Oct 02, 2013 @ 18:58:43

    He really does sound sweet. I loved how you said “when two people…” not “when a man and a woman…” I’ll have to remember that for when my daughter starts asking…next year…

    It’s funny how kids have a way of letting us know when they have heard as much as they can handle…some kids giggle and turn the book to the next page…others fart loudly…lol!!!

    I had to laugh…and God know I needed a good laugh 🙂


    • Tiffany N. York
      Oct 03, 2013 @ 09:21:18

      I do the same thing re: race. I tell him, “No, you don’t say what color their skin is, you just say, ‘that man or the girl’–don’t put labels on people.” I’m better at teaching him that kind of stuff than say, being self-sufficient. I do everything for him and that really has to stop, because I’m not doing him any favors. I still have to double-knot his laces, for goodness sake!

      Oh yeah, I know when he tunes out. He doesn’t have a very long attention span, so if I want him to absorb what I say, it has to be done in a minute or less.

      Glad you got a little laugh…always remember to find the humor when things are craptastic.


  4. Damien
    Oct 03, 2013 @ 10:40:33

    Great post! I laughed out loud at ‘I’ve written too many posts about his penis.’

    Oh, and you’d better get a boyfriend soon, if for no other reason than to find someone to help you devise a strategy on how to handle the questions you get when your son and his future girlfriend find your posts about his wiener.

    PS: I am fairly certain your sex drive is not in the grave just yet.


    • Tiffany N. York
      Oct 03, 2013 @ 21:42:00

      Seriously, I’ve written too many posts about penises and porn (the two do go hand-in-hand though). The boy said I was going to have to teach him to shave one day. And tie a tie. Ack! I don’t know how to do that stuff. Then again, Google is my best friend, so…


  5. menopausalmother
    Oct 08, 2013 @ 19:28:47

    Awwwww…I love this post! I think you handled it perfectly with your boy. You have a great relationship with him and something tells me you will ALWAYS be close. Good job, Mom!


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