Mocha Dad and E. Payne’s Makes Me Want to Holler are two blogs that I check with relative frequency. Both are “Daddy Blogs.” Mocha Dad’s children are much younger than my own, but it’s fun to laugh at and enjoy the experiences of a father going through what I have already been through. At that young age, children are so hilarious. Parenting seems like such a piece of cake. But then they become teenagers.
That is why I return frequently to E. Payne’s site. His son is about the same age as my youngest son, fourteen, and he seems to be going through some of the same issues that I am working through now with my own. A week or so ago he featured a story about having to have “The Talk” with his son, and his ineptitude in doing so entitled "The Worst Sex Talk Ever."
E. Payne used humor to illustrate his point, and I laughed along with him, but inside I squirmed. I was facing the prospect of having to have the same talk with my son. The whole “Talk” thing seems simple in theory; I know all about the birds and the bees. But in praxis it all seems to fall apart, especially when it catches you unprepared. And I found myself wholly unprepared for this one. The whole issue and imperative to have “The Talk,” not the parenthetical version you have when your children are young but the more serious one, seemed to emerge from nowhere.
Not too long ago, my son had no interest whatsoever in girls. Girls seemed to be the furthest thing from his mind. However, the clues that the fairer sex was entering his purview were subtle at first, but then it all came bursting into the open.
The first hint came in the form of an altering of his hygiene habits. Not too long ago we had to practically make him take a bath. But suddenly he has become the king of clean. In fact, we now have to get up a hour earlier just so we can get some hot water. Suddenly, out of the blue, he has begun to wake up each morning and take those long Hollywood showers, after which he sprays himself from head to toe with that foul smelling Axe stuff.
And this coincided with the reports from our well placed spy, our youngest daughter, that he and a young lady were actively flirting on the bus on the way home. And suddenly he didn’t want to be picked up from the bus stop, but expressed his preference to walk home. My wife and I found this curious because at the beginning of the school year, he had insisted on being picked up from the bus stop.
Again our well placed spy informed us that he and the young lady he had been flirting with had taken to walking home together and holding hands.
But the biggest shock came when we found he had changed his Facebook relationship status from “Who cares!” to “In a relationship with…” Immediately our defenses went up, and my wife began to hint that it was time for “The Talk.”
And even as I was absorbing this information, even as I was formulating what this talk would consist of, even as I was still getting my script together, he hit us with the one-two punch. He casually informed us that he and this young lady were planning on having a date. And in questioning him further about this so-called date and the particulars thereof, he informed us that his new “girlfriend” was sixteen, two years older than he, and she would be doing the driving. My wife responded rather loudly and indignantly, “I bet she will be doing the driving!”. Of course the car date was vetoed. We offered instead to take the two of them out to dinner with us and to the theater.
So, now I have to have “The Talk” with him. I plan to take him to a movie then have a late lunch. I have no idea yet what I will say, but I am sure the words will come. I was preparing an outline of the points I would need to hit, but I threw it away. It just seems best that talks like this come straight from the heart. It seemed like fatherhood was less complicated when he was younger and still had the luxury of believing in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy.