Friday, May 18, 2007

You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have. . .

. . . the facts of life. Whoa, who would've thought. Well, yesterday I had to go to Payge's school for her first installment of the birds and the bees. Yeah, like an over-protective mom I went. But to be fair, there were three other moms there. Anyway, so she got to watch "It's a Change Thing: It's a Girl Thing". All I can say is that it was, like all of us remember it to be, completely hokey. Anyway, I guess I should back up and tell the story from the beginning.

So last Thursday, the 10th, Payge hands me this note from school, which states that on the 17th they are going to burst the bubble of my little girl's childhood and announce to her that her girl parts all have a working function. After the initial shock and awe I collected my thoughts and knew what I had to do. :(

So I announce to her quietly on Saturday morning that I'm taking her out, by herself. She's really happy to hear this, since it means time with Mom without Kate being around. We jump in the car and head off for some girl time, all the while I'm trying to put on a brave front and appear to be completely relaxed and normal, when in reality I felt completely nauseous. Which surprised me, because I wasn't really THAT nervous. I mean, I know she's going to find out in less than a week, with or without my help, so I was ready to be the one to tell her. But still, nauseous. My reasoning for taking her out was two fold: First, I didn't want Kate to hear one word of what was being said; and two, I wanted Payge to look back on this day and have a really, really good memory of it. I didn't want it to be traumatic or weird, but very normal. Especially given the fact that this is by far not the only discussion we'll have on the subject. Anyway, it went as well as one could expect, but at least I can say we got through it.

So, Thursday I go and sit in on this video, thanking God that this was not the first time Payge was going to hear this stuff. I think she probably appreciated that fact as well. So we're sitting towards the back and I've got three rows of girls in front of me. And as the video starts there are some snickers and some sideways glances. But one little girl in particular made me laugh and broke my heart at the same time. I could tell that all of this was very shocking news to her, because she would gasp, mouth wide open, and then a look of disbelief would come over her, and then she would whip her head around to see what all the other girls were doing. Poor girl, she didn't know what hit her. I wanted to laugh at the mere sight of her, but even more I was sad. Sad because her mom wasn't there. Sad because it was so painfully obvious that her mom hadn't even bothered to have a conversation with her.

In pondering all of this last night, it hit me why I was so nauseous: It's because I was stealing from "my little girl". Stealing a big chunk of her childhood. Stealing a big part of her innocence. And maybe a little bit of that sick feeling had to do with the fact that to me she's still too young to have to worry with all of these things. And sick because I know that she's not too young to have to deal with these things. Ah, the joys of parenting and the public school system.

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