July 11, 2012

Talking to my daughter about sex on a random summer afternoon seems as good a time as any.

Today is my daughter's 12th birthday. Camryn is my Millennium Baby.

Her due date was the 4th of July, but she was a week late. I was scheduled to be induced late on the 13th so when I went into labor on my own early in the morning on the 11th, I was in complete denial, and didn't make it to the hospital until I was dilated 8 centimeters. My baby girl came into the world at 11:05 AM looking exactly like her father. I still don't understand how that can make for a cute baby girl, but somehow it does.

Just as I teach Cami things, she teaches me too. I was not an incredibly patient person before she was born. There's something about pacing and pacing the house trying to get a tired baby to sleep that makes you patient. She is a lot like her dad, something I really didn't prepare myself for. Instead of butting heads with her because she sees things differently than I do, I'm learning to simply tell her my way of thinking, and let her determine her own way. Sometimes she's nice and decides to agree with me.

I mention a lot that Camryn has ADD. For her it manifests as "chatty cathy", shy, inattentive and naive. For years I have genuinely appreciated her naivete, because it meant many of the more adult things she may have been exposed to over the years went right over her head. For the most part she has remained a sweet and innocent girl. This does a mom's heart well.

However, since she started middle school last September I have been feeling increasingly concerned that she was still a little too innocent. I began to worry that the other kids could easily fill her head with wrong information, because they think they know stuff, and she would believe it.

I had a conversation with my friend Jessica, whose son is the same age, and who has known my daughter since she was 3. I wondered if Cami knew what sex was (because she hadn't asked me). Jessica replied that she thought she probably did, just because of kids at school.

Well that kind of freaked me out. I mean, I know about, and signed the permission slip for, the puberty videos and talks in 4th and 5th grade. I'm all for those because everyone needs to know about their bodies. I remember being grateful for them when I was a kid because it meant I could have a few less awkward talks with my parents!

So I knew Cami knew about puberty. But did she know anything about sex?

She turned 5 when I was pregnant with her little brother. I thought for sure she'd think to ask, "Mommy, how are babies made?" But she didn't, and I didn't offer the information. She did ask how the baby "gets out". When I started to tell her the truth, she was completely grossed out, so I ended up saying, "I will go to the hospital and my doctor will help me get the baby out."

Now here we are, Camryn is 12 and heading into 7th grade. I had decided after my little chat with Jessica that I just needed to talk to her, find out what she knows, and fill in any blanks. The perfect opportunity arose this past Saturday. It was just the two of us in the house; her reading on the couch.

We had The Talk. Turned out she didn't really know anything, except that boys have sperm and girls have eggs, but she didn't know how they got together. She had no idea about intercourse, and when I told her, she said, "Eeww!" I said I understood the eeww factor, but everyone eventually feels differently about it.

I told her that when a girl gets her period it means she's able to have babies, and that sex is how babies are made. I also told her about birth control, and threw in a little about being in love, that some people choose to wait until marriage and that you should be MUCH OLDER than she is now. She nodded her head vigorously.

I told Cami I hope she knows she can talk to me about anything, but that if she ever feels just too weird about it, that my best girlfriends would be there for her too. In closing I asked if she had any questions and she shook her head. I know she's the kind of person who needs new information to sink in before she's ready to talk about it. Thankfully, "Call Me Maybe" came on right at that moment, so I turned it up, told her I loved her, and left it at that.

Then I walked into the kitchen and took one helluva deep breath.

Hanging out at yeahwrite!


  1. Good for you! I believe that knowledge is power and the more she knows about her body and all things related to sex, the less likely she will be to feel pressured into things she may not understand.

  2. Great job, Mom!!! When it's my turn to have this convo with my daughter, I hope I handle it as well as you did. Love the ending.

  3. oh i love this. you're such a good mama and it sounds like you did an amazing job! good for you!

  4. you are so brave! I am kinda both dreading and looking forward to having "the talk" with my 2 girls when the time comes. Thankfully, I have a lot of time yet. DH and I haven't yet determined who will talk to our son - who at almost 8 is the oldest and thus first. Pretty sure "rock, paper, scissors" will decide that one. LOL
    I think you should do a video parody of "So Wait, Maybe" about this conversation. that would so totally rock! LOL

  5. I had the talk with my oldest at the same age. She knew stuff she had heard from girlfriends of which I needed to clear up. She didn't seem impressed by my willingness to explain or expand upon things so I left it at if she wants to know more, she can come and ask me. I also bought her a book that talks all about her body, the changes, how to take care of it and about intercourse and babies. She read it several times, asked me questions for clarification and then that was it. I hope she'll come to me when she has questions. She's 14 now and THE TALK happened when she was 12.

    I think your talk went well:)

  6. Oh my gosh. I am SO glad my kids are still babies. I do not look forward to having "the talk". Especially with boy kids!

    Good for you!

  7. You absolutely did the right thing - I am also dreading telling my son about things as he is naive as well but I must remind myself better coming from me than the kids at school. I still have a year(ish). I hope.
    P.S. Call Me Maybe was the theme when we were in Florida - it was constantly on the radio and my daughter sang it for karaoke...perfect transition!

  8. I am not looking forward to The Talk. . .

    My daughter is 10, so it's right around the corner.

    I have talked to her a little about her body and puberty and the whole period deal.

    I haven't been brave enough to touch on the subject of sex just yet.

    But you? You did an awesome job, Mama!

  9. My mom and I never really had The Talk, but she told me everything. She just did it casually, a little at a time. She'd be brushing my hair for school and manage to slide some information in that was age appropriate. Or we'd be fixing lunch together.Or whatever. She managed to tell me all about birth control while still making it clear that this was information she didn't expect me to use for many more years. I hope I was that good with my daughter.

  10. So proud of you and your TALK with Camryn! Yahoo!

    I get amazed with stories of women (girls) who get pregnant and still really don't know how it happened!

    We can never assume they know.

    No such thing as, "Too much information." If they didn't click with the info now... they will next time, or the time after that. Keep up "the talk". It didn't end with this one.

    I thought having a close mother/daughter relationship was all that mattered at the time. That you would come to me and talk to me about sex and the consequences. So... please don't assume the same with Cami. XO

  11. I'm completely freaked out. I envisioned me being you and Cami being Josie and - ahhhhh! I'm sure it will feel so much different when I'm looking at a 12 year old version of my daughter. Many, many, many years form now..... LOL, yeah, one can hope.

  12. Happy belated Birthday to her.

    we've had two of those talks and its awful but necessary.

    you did great