The Talk

Every parent dreads having to have “The Talk”.

Every child cringes when their parents have “The Talk” with them.  It’s traumatizing.

Coming from the child’s side, the first inclination is to say, “I know, I know, I know everything, you don’t have to tell me” to stop words like vagina, penis, clitoris, orgasm paired with love from coming from your parents’ mouth.  Your parents are not supposed to know those words.  It’s just wrong. You are supposed to talk about it with your friends not your parent. What’s wrong with them?

From the parents side, when your kid says, “I know” you just want to say, “Oh, you do.  Cool, well, if you got any questions I’ll be in the den on the computer.”

Unfortunately I don’t know when to stop talking. I like to talk so on good occasions I can talking jag.  In awkward situations I keep talking because I’ve already started and it just needs to come out.

My daughter was 12 when we had “The Talk” and she told me, “I know, I know, I know” and instead of taking my cue to run hide I said, “Let me say this…” and went on to explain more than she probably wanted to know from me.

I thought I did a good job until one day my ex said, “Yeah, Mimi said you had the talk with her the other day. She thought it was funny.”

She and I had “The Talk Two: Different World Edition” right before she went off to college. This time she was 18 and we were in a car. You can’t run away from your mom when you are in a moving car.

Still, even with my propensity to talk Mimi still comes to me for advice… sometimes.

Luckily with the boy I got out of having The Talk with him. Instead I had “The Talk” with J over everything he needed to say to J2.

With the hypersexuality of American culture one would think that “The Talk” would be unnecessary for children. Sex is in our music, sex is all on our PG TV shows heck a while back someone was trying to sell thongs to five year old children.  SEX IS EVERYWHERE.

But then so is disease. In Hamilton County, OH (the county I live in) STDs are rising among teens of color.  So although many kids know about safe sex  at a young age not many practice it.

I was thinking about all of this when a kid that comes into the library –lets call him Ronan –came out as gay.

I have not had “The Talk” with any kid that has come into the library before. Well, maybe I have but it was nicer, gentler, variants of it. More admonitions than full blown talks.

Like we had one trans kid named Dee Dee who was skipping school and wearing short shorts in the dead of winter. She was tiny with glasses and was always querying why men seemed to always be hitting on her. I had to pull her aside and talk to her about being careful of the men that she was titillating and how dangerous getting into cars with strangers can be.

Then there was another girl who was obvious in a bad relationship with her partner and we talked about how she did not have to accept that type of behavior and that sometimes it’s best to walk away.

But “The Talk”? Nope.

So when Ronan came in I said, “We need to talk.”

“What did I do?” he asked.


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