The night before I was to go off to university, my mother came into my room, while I was packing.
“Beaton” she said
She spoke in that way that could only mean you are about to talk about something serious. You start wondering if you have done anything wrong, if you did all your chores, left the toilet seat up, if she saw the empty bottle of Johnnie Walker you were drinking with your friends to celebrate going to varsity, that could be a problem, but hey you are over 18 it was for a good cause…. You quickly line up a of string apologies and explanations
She used my full name, that cant be good, and the time in between, from when she said my name to when she finally starts talking, there is a silence which says a lot about the seriousness of what is coming next. My mother usually just speaks her mind but when its something serious, she will choose her words very carefully…..
“ …..you are going off to Uni” silence
I am here thinking she wants to tell me to study hard, focus on my books, not forget what I am going to school for, the usual pep talk, it’s a serious topic but I can deal with it, I am really quite relieved much ado about nothing. I nod my head and wait for her to continue.
“I have something for you…..” she says and she clears her throat and opens her handbag and takes out a 100 pack box of condom.
“Do you know what these are?”
Earth swallow me now…. Take me now Dear Lord… End this. I am having The TALK with my mum.
I don’t trust my voice so I just nod again.
“Good” she says, “Pack them in your bag, study hard and stay safe…”
I nod again and she gets up to leave, end of discussion.
When she is at the door she turns and says “when they are finished just call me and say mama that stuff is finished and I will make a plan, ok?”
Me: “Gosh that was awkward” I packed the stuff and quickly decided come what may, I was most certainly never ever going to tell my mum that I had finished a box of 100 condoms……. This conversation never happened again, I would guess it was awkward for the both of us.
I was 18 I studied biology in school, I knew my reproductive health. But these days kids are getting exposed to sex so blatantly and parents are being forced to decide to have The Talk at a really early age. Have you ever set down to watch something you thought was an all age movie with disturbing steamy scenes, unexpected nude scenes that have nothing to do with the plot. Even a regular TV soap suddenly gets a bedroom scene that drags longer than it has any business doing.
Don’t get me started on music videos, the dances are risqué, the costumes are skimpy and it seems like the trend is to see who can be the most provocative. I know sex sells but to what end, we are growing up with children exposed to sex as soon they are old enough to sing along to songs with blunt sexual references, and then we get surprised when we learn how shocking early children sexual debut is.
There was quite an uproar when someone suggested condoms be issued to school children about how it would encourage them, but the truth is they already engaging sexual behaviour and we really should not postpone having The Talk with your children lest they learn from somewhere with less conservative views.
PS And the internet is something else together sometimes……
Day 18 blog everyday challenge
photo credit Birds and Bees