The other week, Xavier's class finally had "Health Class" which really means intro to sex ed. A few weeks prior, all parents were given a notice with the option to have their kids opt out. Poor Xavier didn't get that choice. We threw him into the deep water of embarrassing videos about puberty with the understanding that he was to ask questions both at school and at home if he didn't understand anything.
I personally feel that sex ed is a very important issue, a life lesson that needs to be hammered into a child's brain again and again and again. Growing up, my mom was too embarrassed to discuss sex ed. Her idea was to let me learn in school, offer me the option of birth control pills when I felt I needed them, but then when I asked at age 15 (my monthly time was an awful 7 day hell of major pain and BC pills were supposed to help) she freaked out and screamed that I would turn into a slut and sleep with any boy who looked my way. I learned from the pitiful classes they had in school. I learned from books. I learned both good and horrible information, in the girls bathroom at school. And there was no way I was going to lead my children down the same path. My kids would learn everything they asked about in full detail, even if I had to suck it up and answer those questions that leave you red faced and trembling, wishing for a glass of vodka.
I've blogged before about having "The Talk" with Xavier and Ashe during different times in their lives. And knowing that sex ed was coming up in school, Xavier and I have been conversing about things he might learn, and how this was just a small portion of sex ed. I warned him that it would be embarrassing, but it was so, so important that he had to pay attention. And if he had questions, he needed to ask: ask the teachers, ask his dad, ask me. Anyone, so long as he asked. He promised me that he would, although he felt more comfortable asking me than someone in school. I actually felt pleased that this was so. I feel like I passed some parenting test, to know that my son felt comfortable enough to ask me questions about sexual health.
The day of sex ed came and I picked him up early from school. I asked him how things went. He said it was embarrassing. He learned about how he would get hair all over, including "down there". He wanted to know if he could shave it. I said sure, but it might be easier to wax instead. He blanched. He then said how he learned about how girls get their period, and how he was so happy he wasn't a girl. I agreed.
Then he said he learned how boys would have wet dreams. And I asked him if he knew what a wet dream was. And he said "Yeah, it's when you have a dream about wet things: like fire hydrants, hoses, rain and stuff."
OK I admit it. I busted out laughing my ass off. Seriously though, who wouldn't?!!!
After I calmed down and my guffaws subsided into sporadic giggles, I explained what a wet dream really was. His face morphed into a look of horror as he began to grasp the full implications of what a wet dream meant for him. He asked more questions, I answered. Back and forth we went, covering everything else he had learned in school to make sure that he didn't have any other misconceptions.
And at the end, our deal was that when he started having wet dreams, if he didn't feel comfortable telling me, that was cool. All he needed to do was bring down his bed sheets and I would wash them for him, no questions asked. He was cool with that, and thanked me for being such an awesome mom. As we finished up the convo on sex ed, he said that if he had any other questions he promised to come to me and ask because it was easier to talk to me than ask at school. And I'm cool with that. Because if school is leaving the impression on kids that wet dreams are about water, than I have to make sure this kid gets the real information.