Wasn’t too much later, Sarah was in the truck driving alone with me. We were headed over a mountain pass to meet up with the rest of the family at a campsite. Sarah started talking about a family member who just announced their pregnancy.
Sarah: I don’t understand how it works.
Me: What do you mean?
Sarah: How you have babies.
In my head: Help me Lord!
I white knuckled the steering wheel. The last thing I wanted to say was something to the effect of “Go ask your mother.” I did not want to be an adult stigmatizing sex, as if it were a taboo subject. Nor did I want to take away the mother/ daughter experience that L was anticipating. So, I took the most objective route I could muster…the simple biological one.
Thank goodness I had two years of Pre-Veterinary Science and Biology courses in college, because I had numerous examples to pull from. Somehow, explaining the reproduction process for cats and hamsters is much less threatening and, apparently very interesting, to an 11 year old verses the human anatomy. Before she had connected the dots, we arrived at our campsite.
I quickly turned things over to L, and she and Sarah took a stroll along the river to finish the Q and A…I don’t believe that Sarah was traumatized by my fumbling attempts at explaining the Facts of Life.
Two years later:
My youngest stepdaughter, Grace, and I are alone in the kitchen doing the dishes. I’m washing, she’s drying. She leans up against the counter next to the sink
Grace: I don’t know why the boys at school are teasing us girls about the movie we get to watch in Health Class. And, why can’t the boys see it? What’s it about? What are we going to see?
Inside my Head: Uh Oh. Help me Lord!