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Puberty.....Do What Now?

I don't even know where to begin here.

Should I start with the part about the lump?

Should I start with the word congratulations?

Should I start with the part about gay sex?

Sweet Jesus help me.


I remember when I was in 4th grade I took a gymnastics class offered by my school. I loved the thought of all the twistin' and turnin' and flippin'.....and Mary Lou Retton made it all look so effortless. Turns out though, the closest to Mary Lou Retton I'd ever be was the black, purple, blue and white leotard I wore that had her name on the tag.

I can see that leotard as clear as if I still had it today......and with my memory, that's a pretty big accomplishment. I remember it because I dreaded havin' to put that damn thing on. DREADED IT. All the color was on the upper half and the bottom half was white. I can remember thinkin'.....I hope nobody can see my hairs pokin' outta this thing.

You know....those hairs that're....... down yonder. I was MORTIFIED by those hairs. It's all I'd think about when I was wearin' my leotard. Now I know that nobody coulda seen a thing, but I knew they were there and I was very uncomfortable and unsure about that and all that came with goin' through puberty.

I mean, who knows.....I coulda been the next Mary Lou Retton if I'd not been so worried about people seein' THOSE hairs.......

Ok. So.........

The girl came home from school the other day with a lump in one of her breasts (can you even call them that at this point?) . She said somebody had elbowed her when they were playin' and that's when she noticed it. It was tender and it was definitely a lump.

I called her doctor and had to leave a message. A few hours later, my phone rings, I answer it, and the doctor says, "Congratulations you have a girl that's starting puberty."

I'm what now??? No.

That's all.

No, wait that's not all. I just needed a moment.

After I came to grips with it all and figured that even if I stuffed her in a closet and slid a tray of food under the door a couple times a day, I couldn't stop this. I've been preppin' her for this already, because I don't want her to ever feel self conscience like I did.

I'm just.....not ready for a girl goin' through puberty. With the boy, it didn't phase me so much (well except maybe that time I walked in the bathroom and saw that he had sprouted a garden down yonder.....I hadn't expected THAT.....I'm sorry, I still can't talk about it).

When I got off the phone with the doctor, I called the girl into the kitchen and told her she didn't have breast cancer (the first thing outta her mouth when she told me, but she said she knew she was too young for that), she was just startin' puberty. She says "yeah that's what I I'm gonna start growin' boobs now right?"



So then I say "well, at least I've already gotten the "talk" outta the way."

She says, "the talk?"

....."yeah, THE know".....and then she gets it.

Then she says......"about that"......

......."I've been meanin' to ask you".........

......."You know gay people? Do they do it too?"

Sweet Jesus.

I always, always, ALWAYS want her to feel comfortable askin' me anything and everything.....and to accomplish that, I feel like I need to never show the "holy fuck, I think I'm about to puke" feelings that these kinda questions evoke in me.

I close my eyes.

Take a deep breath......

....and turn to look at her.

She's just standin' there lookin' at me all, "well, you gonna answer me?"

I turn back to cleanin' out the microwave and say, "yes honey.......all adults who are in a committed relationship and love each other VERY, VERY, VERY much can have sex."

She says....."even gay people??? How?"


Flashes of destroying a young innocent mind flash through my head.

I ain't about to paint THAT picture for her.

I settle on sayin' "just like everybody else.....they figure it out.....not stop askin' me got a sore throat don't you......go sit down and be quiet for a while."


I'm so glad the boy keeps to himself with these sorta things. Even though I try to get stuff out of him, and tell him all the same things about how I want him to feel comfortable about askin' me ANYTHING, he never asks THOSE kinda questions. The worst I got from him was, "Mom, how old were you when you first had sex?"

That threw me for a loop, but I feel more comfortable answering his questions than I am the girl''s the whole double standard thing between raisin' boys and girls.

The boy, as soon as I think he's thinkin' about doin' it (ok, I know he's already thinkin' about about thinkin' about actin' on the thought), I'm gonna hand him a box a rubbers and tell him all the nasty shit that can happen to him if he doesn't wear one.

The girl on the other hand.....dammit.......

I can't even think about it.

I refuse.


UM WOW, the Gay sex question would have given me a stroke. Morgan has not asked me that question. THANK GOD!
Ally said…
Wow, great story. I have no idea how I'd answer those questions.
Anonymous said…
Oh, my god!! Let me dry my little wrinkly eyes. Today, I am a proud Granmama for the Millionth time, maybe it's Billionth, I can't keep count. My grandkids always make me proud.

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