Hard Conversations: Truth about truth fairies and sex.

Junia lost a tooth on Saturday!  She has the adult tooth coming up right behind it.

She is the youngest kid I have ever met that lost a tooth.  It's been loose for weeks so she has been asking about the tooth fairy.  Sean and I just couldn't keep up the sham.  We are terrible at the meaningless mythologies of our culture.  So we  told her that we are the fairies.  We confessed, and told her how proud we are that she is getting bigger!

She didn't seem disappointed in the least.  Nor does she seem to have lost a sense of wonder at the world!

The fact of the matter is that Sean and I are terrible at lying to our kids.  We aren't good at ignoring the hard stuff and we aren't good at celebrating the whimsical stuff.  It's just not our style.

 Another example:

My kids are kind of obsessed with balloon parts- you know those little latex pieces that get left everywhere after balloons pop.  They love to pick them up and play with them.  Anyway last week, after coming home from the park Junia pulled a (this is disgusting get ready) condom out of her pocket.. It was clean and was only a bit of it bu I immediately was  like, "whoa! Okay, give that to me and go wash your hands." She came back we had a discussion about no picking up balloon parts or things that look like balloons in places that are not our house.

"Don't pick up condoms.  They are used so people don't get pregnant or sick from sex. Not for kids to play with."

It wasn't shaming.
She was fine.
It wasn't any different than saying don't pick up dead birds or poopy diapaers.

So then yesterday Junia asked me, "what is sex?"  Now granted we have talked openly about where babies come from.  Which has led to some interesting conversations about how families with two Moms and two Dads get babies.  But we have gone there with her.  I don't think we've usually used the word sex.

So here I am faced with the question, "What is sex?" outside of a conversation about babies....

My explanation, made up on the spot, was something like this,

"When you grow up more and get a more grown up body it will feel good to have your body touched in certain places (I named those for her)...and when you let someone touch you in those places it is called sex.  Many times you will touch someone else in those places and that is called sex too.

We continued,

"A lot of times people chose to do this only with people they really love and feel safe with and these are usually people they kiss and hug and share lots of stories with."  That is what intimacy is.  A lot of people have sex and intimacy at the same time."

"Okay." she said.

And that is it.  No shame, no new baggage or fears, no morality lesson (that is for a different conversation I think).

I feel good about this kind of stuff.
Really really good.

I know that telling your kids the "truth" about the tooth fairy and the "truth" about sex feel really different for a a lot of people, but for Sean and I the truth is being honest about how we see the world.So even though I am having a week of feeling like a fairly incompetent parent/person.  These raw, clear, powerful conversation is what I think Sean and I do best.


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