Friday, April 23, 2010

Sex Ed

It's Friday, so this is by Susan!

My mother did a pretty good job, I think, for the 60's.  We were at the cottage and she arranged for the two of us to share the cabin that night while the rest of the family stayed in the main cottage.  She presented me with a book called, "The Stork Didn't Bring You," and together we went through it.  I was 9.  The next morning, I stood at the top of the bank looking down over the dock and with hands firmly planted on my hips, I announced to older sister Brenda with great authority, "I know the facts of life!"  I think I stuck out my tongue right after that. I must have looked pretty silly!
Mom did a pretty good job as I recall.  But unfortunately she was a little late...  I had already learned far too much on the schoolyard and in the neighbourhood. Now she was giving me this new version -- and trust me, it bore little similarity to what I'd learned on the street! In fact it had been months before I found out that this strange - and dirty - activity which my friends told me about and which was called "sex", was something that resulted in pro-creation! 

As mom talked , I listened.  And I never let on that I already knew the whole story.  It was good to get it from a wholesome perspective finally, but I remember being very conflicted at the time, suspended somewhere between the two versions.  And Mom was completely fooled.  She had no idea that I might have had "another version" at all.

Mrs. Johnson, my phys.ed. teacher, tipped the balance a couple of years later in our all-girl's health education class.  By that time I was in Grade 6.  Even though she had sent home parental permission forms, it still fellt like a huge surprise when, amdist giggles and red faces, she started talking about certain specific body parts right in class.  It was so-o-o-o weird.  But I also remember feeling so relieved.  It confirmed the healthier view which Mom had taught me and helped me to understand that all the other stuff was something I needed to unload.  Not that I ever could.  What gets introduced in a child's mind at such a young age, is very difficult to ever dislodge entirely.

What my own children learned about sex - from me - was at a much younger age.  We started them off really young  because I didn't want them to hear "the street version" before I had a chance to teach them the truth.  I found if I inadvertantly gave them more than they could handle, those parts would go right over their heads quite nicely anyway, and I really didn't have to worry about it that much. They came equipped with their own  internal filter.

I'm sure this subject evokes a lot of memories for you, too.  I'll bet you remember the time and place and circumstances of how and when someone - or some-thing - reavealed for you, the Truth!


Dave Hingsburger said...

The Stork Didn't Bring Me ...AAAAAAAARRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

it can't be true!

Marilyn said...

You bring up an important topic.

Mom had to get a bit tipsy to sit me down for what seemed like a very formal talk, with her own mother sitting off to one side, listening and giggling. I felt like the two of them were "in on a joke" and the joke was on me. At some point she asked if I already knew all about it and, even though I did not, I said 'yes' just to escape.

Like you, I chose to go about it differently.