Thursday, April 12, 2012

I guess I grew up sheltered

There's been a lot of discussion about Derbyshire's article on "The Talk," which apparently got him released from his contract. (He was claiming that white parents have the same avoid-people-of-other-races, they're-dangerous talk that some Black parents do).

But for me, when I hear of a parent giving "The Talk," I think of the one I got when I was about 11, from my mom, that ended sort of like:

"That is how babies come into the world. I'm telling you this now because you're growing up and soon your body will begin doing the things a woman's body does when it's mature enough that pregnancy is possible, and I don't want you to freak out or be scared by these changes because they are natural. I also want you to know that you can come and talk to me any time if you have questions. And some of your friends might start having sex in the next few years. Understand that if you're not ready for that - and I hope you won't be, not for a while - you don't have to do it just because other people you know are."

It was probably good she gave me that talk when she did, because just about a year later, one of those big changes happened. It didn't freak me out but it did surprise/shock me a little. (I remember finding out after going to the restroom before last-hour English class in seventh grade). (My reaction wound up being something like, "Oh great, I'm gonna have to put up with THIS every month from now on)

I didn't really go to her much with questions: I kind of knew what I needed to know. (And also, I knew, at 11, that it would be MANY MANY years before I was ready to do what she was talking about being done. And I also remember being moderately horrified at that age to think that - gasp - she and my father had obviously done that TWICE, because there were two kids in the family. Hahahaha. Yeah, I was a pretty innocent tween...)

(I find now I am going to her with questions about "my changing body" though. I'm about the age she was when she started perimenopause and it seems there are a lot more things happening now that freak me out a little than what happened when I was 12.)

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