Ya’ll. Puberty? No. Just no. We haven’t gotten there yet at my house but my 5th grader is about to have the “presentation” at school. I can’t even deal. Surely I don’t have a child old enough to hear about this stuff at school, right? See how I’m making it all about me? It’s a thing I do. I’m still working on it. Anyway, so we’ve had conversations about some of this stuff with him before and I’m fine with what he knows, but thinking about him sitting in a room with all the 5th grade boys listening to a lecture on body changes makes me squirmy. So I checked out the link the school sent out that had all the information they were going to share with the boys and previewed the video they would be showing. I was pleasantly surprised when I started reading the material. They were explaining things like the voice changes, body odor, body hair, etc. All the things my boy needs to know about. The more people to encourage good hygiene in stinky boys the better, am I right? How about giving out free samples of deodorant at this presentation? Parents would be eternally grateful. I’m also aware this means there will probably be Axe products in my home in the near future. That’s all fine and good.
Unfortunately, as we adults know, those aren’t the only “changes” our bodies go through during puberty. It was during this portion of the informational video that I suddenly felt the urge to distract myself with household chores. This is what I do when I don’t want to deal with something; divert my attention to mundane tasks. Like those dust bunnies in the corner need my attention right this second. No matter that they’ve been there for months and I chose to overlook them; I need to get them now. I literally couldn’t watch and was wishing I couldn’t hear. The video was saying those words and naming those parts. I can’t. I just can’t. I’m fine with him knowing all those things but isn’t there a way to tell him all that stuff without actually having to tell him? Ugh. I know it’s supposed to be special and all parent/kid bonding but the awkwardness is real. And you know what’s even more awkward? Being a grown up that’s pretending that it’s not awkward. I’m not ready for all this. Can’t we just skip this part, God? I’m sure I’ll be missing something beautiful and profound but I can live with that. There will be other beautiful and profound things in his life like graduation and marriage. I’m totally up for those! Well, maybe.
So I feel like he might need to hear a refresher course on puberty from his parents before he hears the “presentation” at school. I want to make sure we’re on the same page with him and he feels comfortable talking to us about that stuff. Look, I know it gives me the heebie-jeebies to talk about that with my kids but I do want them to know the correct information. As parents, Kyle and I have read some books to our kids about their bodies and how they were made and that’s all been fine. The series of books gradually gives kids more information about their bodies and sex and how God created both of those things*. So I feel like he has a pretty good idea about most of this stuff but it's a little surreal that now he's actually old enough to process what it means. It's confusing and weird and ew, just ew. Don't freak out, we'll tell him it's all "normal" and "part of growing up" but I'll just be thinking "ew" and then I'll cry on the inside. I'm much more dramatic in my mind than I am in real life. Ask anyone.
It’s not lost on me that in few short years, maybe sooner, my kids will have friends that will be talking about that…stuff. I also know that their friends will be speaking loudly into their lives very soon and I need them to know what’s true before they let their friends shape their opinions. I was one of the lucky ones. I had the most amazing friends in high school that shaped my life in the best way possible. I know that’s not the norm and that’s why I’m so grateful. I still don’t know why God surrounded me with the cream of His crop but I know I am a better person because of them. I pray my kids have friends like mine. Ones that will be loyal to them, ones that will tell them the truth, and ones that will point them toward Christ. How on earth did I go from puberty to my best friends? I have no idea. But that’s what happens with best friends; you start out talking about one thing and end the conversation on something completely unrelated.
To recap, puberty’s rough and best friends will get you through it. Also, since this is the boy talk, I’m leaving it up to Kyle to cover this topic with Paxton. I figure I’ll just bat clean up with, “Sooooo, do you have any questions about what you and Dad talked about?” (Please say no, please say no, please say no.) Kyle, may the force be with you. Don’t worry, I’ll tell Caitlin about the girl stuff, promise.
Anyone have any tips on the puberty talk? Preferably parents of older kids who’ve actually done it before…
*The book series is called God’s Design for Sex. Definitely recommend reading this with your littles. And yes, it will seem unbearable at parts but you can do it.
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