Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Talk

Hey all,

Today is the first day of school for my kids. My youngest son (for now) starts kindergarten this morning. My wife started to tear up last night (and so did I when I started to think about how much tuition costs).
Noah, my youngest is a talker. I am not just talking a little, I am talking alot of talking (I wonder where he gets it from). So God bless his teacher. And his class is 7 boys and 3 girls.
My daughter, I do not worry one bit about. She is so smart and doesn't need much from us in order to reach her potential.
Now, my oldest though is going into the fifth grade. He is a bit more of a tender heart. And he is a boy. He would rather grab ass with his buddies than read and do school work.
I mean he still tells people he wants to be an NBA player when he gets older (one problem...his dad is 5'9 and slow).
So on Monday night I went to the school's convocation. This was just some time to worship together and then see the kids classrooms and meet the teachers. As a quick aside, I remember my fifth grade and middle school years very well. I remember my teachers, I remember my friends and the struggles I went through. And when I was listening to these teachers talk and tell us about their teaching philosophies, it all started coming back to me. Oh isn't life grand. I didn't want to go home and tell my son, "Dude, that lady is going to be all over your butt all year." Instead I went home and said, "Oh man your teachers are going to be great. They are all so nice."

Well my son and I had "the talk". I had such grandiose ideas of how it was going to go down. We would spend the weekend at the beach. Have some man time. We would surf and go out to eat and then come home and watch sports. But it didn't quite happen that way.
I wanted to do this before school started. All of our weekends were packed with stuff and I couldn't find the ideal time to go. So as school loomed this weekend was the only one left. We had a birthday party on Saturday and church and a church function on Sunday night. I guess the beach is out because I have left no other weekend. So I said we will just go out to eat. Well because our weekend was so full I waited until Monday.
He finished all his summer work so his reward was lunch at the restaurant of his choice. And he picks Steak-n-Shake. (ahh, those were the days when all you wanted out of a restaurant was cheese fries and a large shake). So we had the time. Monday, lunch, time, Steak-n-Shake.
So what was I going to say?
Well we had a friend give us this book to help me. Well I started to read it was very weird in its approach. So I looked and the book was copyrighted in 1982. Thank you Lisa.
I am not sure but things have changed some since the middle ages.
I did have an approach in mind but really I was going to just go in the direction that our conversation takes me. (Not sure this is such a good idea)

So we go to Steak-n-Shake and I don't know what was going on but the place was packed.
So they sat us in the middle with tables all around us. I looked around and I did not want to scare the 6 year old sitting within arms length of me. So I asked the hostess if we could have a booth. She sat us in a pretty isolated booth and then the scene was set. I couldn't get out of it now.
So I start by talking to him about the fifth grade.
After some ideal chat about school I then went to how he was getting to an age where his body was going to start changing. Changing from a boy to a man. I told him about puberty and what that is. Okay so things are going pretty good. He is asking me good questions and I am not too nervous.
So then I ask him what he knows about sex. He stammers around for a couple of seconds and I realize (like I told you) he doesn't know a thing. (just last week he ask my wife how the doctors were going to get the baby out)
I go into Genesis and how God made man and he wasn't happy with just a man. Thing like that and all of this was part of his master plan. And how it takes a man and woman to have children. Just like when Noah filled the ark with a male and female animal.
So the next half and hour was kind of like a science lesson. I talked about how you need two cells to start this process of baby from the man and one from the woman.
I then went into the woman's anatomy, I know I know, AWKWARD.
Essentially one hole to pee and one hole for reproduction. Yes, I used correct anatomical nomenclature.

I then explained to him what puberty in a woman looks like. And then I explained to him what a period is... AWKWARD. See my feeling was that if I left some things out the pieces would not fit. So I had to do the full Monte...maybe that wasn't a good choice of words.

So now for the grand finale. I had to tell him how the man's cell is able to fertilize the woman's egg. So I told him (I will not tell you because I think you all should know this) and we was eating and practically spit his food out and said,
WHHHHAAATTTTT!!! He said to me, "You would have to be naked to do this!!!"
"Well, yes Luke you have to be naked to do this."

At the end I had to finish with telling him this is top secret information. You cannot be telling all your friends this at school because some of the boys have not had this talk with their dads yet. And I told him that he can't tell Noah and other littler kids because they are not ready for it yet.
I finished by asking him if he any questions. He said, "Dad, I have a million questions. But I have to process all this stuff first."

I got to tell you I felt great after doing this. It was tough but I felt great about me and my son growing together. Parenting is tough in general and I think I fail most of the time. This one I can check off "success". I could look at my son and tell him this stuff because I know it is good for him and I can do it in love.
My father never gave me "the talk". (Actually Tom Schween did in the 7th grade). But now I hope I have started something that will continue for many generations of Gammichia's for a long time.

Have a great Wednesday,

ps I saw my son looking at my wife a little bit different since our talk.


Anonymous said...

That moment sounded priceless. LOL

Anonymous said...

That was hysterical. I laughed out loud. My husband is a 6th grade science teacher and has to give "the talk" to all "his kids". I'm going to pass this along. He'll love it!

Connie said...

Oh man, that was so funny. You're awesome.

I have 4 books for kids in my nightstand on this topic, and they all seem weird to me, even though they're not from 1982. I'm still trying to figure out when/how to discuss this with my oldest. She has asked some pretty straightforward questions since we had the baby.

You did a good job.

Nate said...

This was definitely one of the greatest stories I have ever heard from you or anyone. Thank you for sharing that. Although I laughed till I almost tore my gut, I still have to let you know that I really admire your spirit and your love for your children. Fantastic job as a writer and more importantly as a parent.

patti said...

I am rolling on the floor. That is priceless, "yes Luke you have to be naked" BWHAHahahahah! When I told 'the Girl' she was dead silent, nodded her head, and said, "Can I go take a bath?"

Its so awkward!!!

gatordmd said...

I'm glad you guys liked it.
I just realized I am going to have to give this talk two more times.
Maybe I will get Luke to do it.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't stop laughing when I read this! LOL!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi John,
I google-searched my name and your article appeared. I'm confused by it.
My father didn't give me "the talk" back then either. I didn't understand sex until way after the seventh grade. I definitely didn't know enough (or much at all) to explain the birds and the bees to you. I was too busy figuring out my own feelings. This was certainly as confusing a time in life for me as it was for you. Although I don't understand why you used my name in your writing fictitiously, I applaud you talking with your son openly.
Best to you and your family,


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