While enjoying an over-priced lunch at The Rainforest Cafe with my two sons, the conversation took an interesting turn. "Wow, look at that gorilla boys, he's scary." "Oh, here come the thunderstorm." Then my youngest son piped in. "When we were in your belly, how did we come out of you?" Um..WHAT? (choking on my iced tea) Where did that come from?
As parents, we all do our best to side-step these little questions. I think I just asked him to finish his nuggets and replied "the doctor took you out," and I left it at that. I have gotten many of these juicy inquiries as a mommy. Some of my favorites:
"You have a penis, right mommy?" (well, only when I'm feeling tough)
"Can I see your nickles?" (code word for nipples in my house)
"Why is my penis sticking up?" (go ask your father..)
"Can I marry you (or the dog) if I get married?" (ah, no, this is not Alabama)
I am dreading the day that I will actually have to answer all these questions with a straight face & honesty. I guess I'm glad I have boys. No talks about periods & why you don't have boobs yet. But I do think as a mom, I want to make sure that my boys are not just sent into the world with an attitude, a pat on the back & a box of condoms. Being the woman of the house comes with a different kind of responsibility; teaching my boys to respect women.
My oldest shows glimmers that we are doing something right. He has a good friend who is a girl. Every time she is at our house and needs to leave, he walks her home. (without me asking) He carries her bag if she has one. I find this innocent but telling. It tells me that maybe he does listen to me amongst all the smart-mouthing. I have hope for my youngest as well. We were playing a game and deciding who should go first. He matter-of-factly states "You should go first, since you are a girl." Call me old fashioned but I love that.
Hold doors, be polite, give up your seat. It may be old-school but these are the things I still appreciate as a women. I know they are taking a cue from my husband as well. He leads by example everyday by treating me this way. In these days of equal rights & female empowerment it can send mixed signals. Our boys see mommy home cleaning, cooking and taking care of everyone. They also see me go to work and earning a living. I hope that they will someday fully understand the importance of what we are trying to teach them.
Until the day of "the talk" comes, I will enjoy laughing over unexpected questions, curiosity and that wonderful innocence that comes with having young children.