TODAY’S FORECAST: Thankful for unexpected gifts
Jacob and Meghan came through the door after school on Friday, excited about the “spring-like” weather that was hitting Ohio in January, but also looking tired after their first week back to school post holidays. Jacob took off his coat and asked if he could have a snack. Meghan did the same and added that they were going outside to play with the neighbor kids “in a little bit.” As customary, I asked them about their days and since it was Friday, did not encourage them to jump on homework as is our regular routine. Fridays are different. We do their weekend reading Sunday so that they can have a break on Friday. It’s a nice way to ease back into the next week and they know they are NOT allowed to tell Bob and before bed “I have to read!” It’s done before 7:30 on Sunday, period. Anyway, I’m deviating a little, homework routines were not my point here. The point was, both kids proceeded to tell me about their days and as part of the spiel, shared the “gory” details of what was witnessed on the school bus that afternoon.
If there are two places I wish I could put my children in a bubble, they are the playground and the school bus. I am just floored by some of the stuff that is going on there these days. I’m not saying my kids are angels by any stretch of the imagination, but some of the things that they are asking me to clarify at home that are coming out of the mouths of their peers; it actually turns my stomach. Friday was unfortunately no exception. Jake began the conversation with, “Mom is sex bad?” and I nearly fainted. My first thought wasn’t a thought at all, but a wave of nausea. Granted, I’ve had the flu for several days and Friday wasn’t a great day for me, but I’m pretty certain this particular wave wasn’t caused by flu. My second thought was, “Oh Bob, this was supposed to be your discussion!”
Ever since the kids were born, Bob and I have been joking about the “birds and the bees” talk. I had it with Meghan because like her brother, she is a smart cookie, perceptive and observant. I had told Bob that Jake was ALL his and though I didn’t really mean that, because we want our kids to feel comfortable talking to either of us, I was not mentally prepared right there, in that moment to have “the talk” with my baby boy. My baby, a second grader. What is this world coming to? I mean, I know both of my kids are intelligent, but seriously, in second grade we were talking cooties and kickball, not sex.
Meghan, however, was not put off whatsoever. “Jacob” she said with that note of big sister superiority in her voice, “Do you even know what sex is?” I gave her a look that said, “Cool it.” and she backed down. So I asked Jake a couple of questions and determined that yes, there was no way around it, I was going to have to delve into this solo. Bob was SO in trouble! 🙂
I asked if Jake wanted to go to another room to have a special talk with Mommy and he said, “Are we keeping a secret from Sissy?” and I had to laugh. I proceeded to tell him that it was a talk about boys and girls and told him that Meghan and I had already had this talk, but we could do it privately or with sissy there. He chose the latter. So we all stayed put in the living room. I muttered a quick prayer for the right words and proceeded to muddle through for not the first, but the second time in my life.
After I got done, Meghan look satisfied with my explanation and Jake looked a little embarrassed, but clearly understood. He asked all kinds of questions and Meghan was eager and willing to help fill in the answers. The experience was blowing my mind, just a little. Somehow the conversation finally took a turn (Thank you God for small miracles!) to other things and we got to the topic of “bad in the world.” Jake and I had just read the story of Adam and Eve together not long ago, so he was eager to remind his sister of the story and how it all got started.
That conversation could have only been from God, in fact I am quite sure He was just sitting there “hanging” with us as we talked. My kids sat with me, philosophized, asked questions and challenged my answers around multiple topics. They were curious, passionate and God-honoring. Not once in the hour that passed so quickly did they ask about iPod touches or TV. After their questions started to dwindle, Meghan noticed the time. They both had made plans to meet their friends to play “in a bit” and “in a bit” had long since passed. We wrapped up our discussions with a hug and I told them that I was so glad we had gotten the chance to talk together like that and proud of them both for their participation. I reminded them that they could always talk to Daddy and I (putting the emphasis on DADDY ;-)). They donned their jackets and sweatshirts and went next door to play. I prayed a prayer of praise for a God who had given me that awesome gift. “The Talk” I had been dreading had turned into so much more. While innocence had been lost, faith learning had taken place. I was relieved and thankful.
Jesus said, Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these. Matthew 19:14