Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Raising David

This whole parenthood thing is really for the birds some days, isn't it?? David has struggled immensely with organization, which I completely understand as I continue to struggle with it well into my 30's. But the difference between me and David is this: I have three people other than myself to keep up with - laundry, red-handled screw drivers, the favorite lovey and blanket, the warmest shirt, the bills, the amount of toilet paper in possession, etc., etc, and so on. David has only himself and his little world to attend to. And, while I completely get that it's the biggest little world he's ever had to be responsible for in his little life, he'll hardly find any sympathy from his mama. It's a simple spelling list or a darn notification that his lunch account is low, not an entire household or small country.

Today, I pretty much came to the realization that David hasn't been doing his spelling homework. He's been telling me that he completed it at school or that he forgot it and he'll get it done in the morning before class. But, as of today, that crap ain't flying with this Mama. Tonight he had to do two night's worth, and from here on out, he's been instructed to bring it home every night. If he did it at school, fine... bring it to me and show me that you've done it. Because as we stand tonight, I don't believe his word.

Not a big deal to some, I guess - spelling homework. But I know my son far better than he realizes. He's lazy by nature and a genuine procrastinator. And I know these things because I have those tendencies myself. And I also know how I managed to breeze through school with no problem until I reached the college level and had a serious work load and studying to try to manage. And I wouldn't say I had the same success in college as I did in my earlier education. Obviously my current employer isn't too concerned with my performance, but still. He has to start to learn somewhere. And he might as well start now. I mean, he's not getting any younger, you know.

Case in point: On Saturday, my son asked me, "Where do babies come from?"

I was shocked. Mortified. Flabbergasted. And he happened to ask me in front of my mom, dad, and his little sister. So I told him that if he really wanted to know, I'd have to tell him at another time because it was something that didn't need to be discussed in front of all those people. Do you think I've brought it back up????? Absolutely NOT!!! I am terrified to have that discussion with him. Absolutely have no idea where to begin or end or what to say or what not to say.

Why is it so hard to talk about sex anyway? It's one of the most primal functions of our body, you know right next to eating. It's the one common thread that runs through all of creation. But it's the least talked about between parent and child... at least between me and my parents while I was growing up. Sex was always that thing that you weren't supposed to do until you got married. Maybe that's why I don't really know how to address it with my son - I was given such a rigid perception of sex growing up from my family and church, and I am so confused as to what message I'm supposed to give my children.

Here's what I'd love to have the courage to say:
David, babies come from God. God created a wonderful act that should only occur between a grown-up man and woman that love each other dearly and have committed their life to one another. It's something you'll no doubt do at some point in your life, but it's nothing to concern yourself with now.

Would that scar him for life? Would that give him the wrong impression? Would that cover all that needs to be covered at 8 whopping years old? I don't know...

The scariest part about parenting to me is that you don't know at the present moment exactly what you're creating for your child. It's kinda like painting with a blindfold. You may try to use the right colors and brushes, but you won't know the end result until you are finished and take off the blindfold. That's how I feel with my kids. I can tell them the things I think they need to hear from me, but the truth is that they will both be different. I know how I was taught and explained things, I know what I would do different and what I'd do the same, but I don't know if those ways will be effective with my children because my own experience clouds my judgement. I guess the glory of it all is that people have been parenting since the beginning of time, and the world is not an entire screwed-up mess. So we humans must be doing something right.

Oh, wait... the world does kinda appear to be a screwed-up mess sometimes...

Okay. I'm off to draft my speech entitled, "Where Babies Come From." I'm sure by tomorrow I'll be working on my fourth or fifth draft...


Erika said...

For me, it's so much easier to talk to them about this stuff now than try and wait till they're older. At least now, they aren't already embarrassed by us. I've heard to give them only as much information as they are asking. So basically, answer one question at a time and don't really elaborate. So if he asks again, just say from a mommy's tummy. You don't have to go into the way they got there unless he pursues the subject. Good luck with that. hee

Nana's Notes said...

Oh,I am so glad I am not still raising boys!!! I will just leave that in the capable hands of all you younguns! Hee Hee