Sex and kids. Damn, that's a hard topic for me.
Not the teaching about sex. Heck, with resources like It's Perfectly Normal and It's So Amazing, that's a walk in the park. But I'm not easily embarrassed. Even when my son said he wanted us to have twins and I explained you can't just "get" twins. And he said, "Well, can't you just do that sex thing twice?" (Age 5)
Or when we mentioned that his father was getting a vasectomy and he furrowed up his brow and said, "Well, if you don't want more babies, why don't you just not have sex?" (Age 9)
Or when he asked, "What does 'humping' mean? And 'boning'?" (last week, age 10)
I want the kids to come to us with all their questions, so I give complete answers, no blushing.
Where I get a little lost is in the values part of the equation.
See, when I hear about abstinence-only education, I scoff. I must admit that when I hear about kids joining True Love Waits, I roll my eyes. "How cute" -- I just want to pat their little heads. Hey, I was a Resident Assistant on the "Women's Privacy" floor -- also known as the "Virgin Vault." If there were any virgins at the start of the year, I doubt there were any at the end. And we've all heard the stats -- those who take vows of abstinence break them. And often wind up with STDs.
But hearing about how casually people take hooking up, ye gods, please not my kids!
Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, here I am, stuck in the middle. I don't want to be a hypocrite. But I want my kids to see sex as something ... dare I say it? ... holy. Sacred. Done with someone you love.
When my son was born a decade ago, we were the only ones of our siblings who were married. Some of our siblings don't share our belief in the sacredness of sex. We decided to make it simple. Unless you're married, you can't share a bed with your "friend" at our house. Ye gods! What throwbacks! Anachronisms!
But here's the deal ... if we hadn't done that, they would have already seen one aunt with several "friends" over the years. Of course, they have seen the aunt with the friends, they just haven't seen the friends spend the night at our house.
But it gets murkier. Grandma has a boyfriend. They are in a committed relationship, but they are never going to get married. It would be fine with us for them to be here -- but, ye gods, then we have to deal with the aunts/uncles crying foul. Thankfully, it's not an issue. He is an older gentleman and would never agree to stay in our house. He is from a generation where such things simply are not done.
How to parse, how to deal. One sibling is in a monogamous long-term relationship. But do we want to handle each situation on a case-by-case basis, becoming the "judge" for each relationship?
Do we want to let the adults be adults and bring whomever they are currently with into our house, and just allow 4 children, ages 2-11, to assume that it's all normal? That if you have a boyfriend, you're having sex? Some argue that you simply explain that what's right for an adult, isn't for a young person. Yes. I can explain that to my 7 year old. (rolls eyes.)
I don't know. I feel like a hypocrite. But I don't think the other way is right, either.