Monday, September 27, 2010

How the Birds and the Bees Made Me Grateful

I came across this picture cleaning up and packing my office before our repaint and recarpet this summer and found it tucked in my calendar last week. It was taken at the beach wedding of a friend. Sarah and I were watching the wedding while DH and Olivia were off shell hunting, and the wedding photographer caught this shot. Such innocence. Where the heck did it go!?!

I was driving the girls to school Friday when Sarah asked, “Mama, how can teenagers have a baby?” Stalling, I asked her what she meant, and she said she saw a teenager on TV that had a baby. Wow! Didn’t expect to have the birds and the bees conversation quite this early. I tried to respond with, “Well, teenagers really shouldn’t be having babies.” And she said, “’cause you aren’t supposed to have a baby until you are at least 30.” See, I’m trying to train them well! I tell them that you can’t get married until you are 30, so therefore, you can’t have a baby until you are at least 30 because you have to get married before you have a baby. (Now, I realize that in this day and age, many women are having children without getting married, and that’s fine, but that’s a discussion for another post…) Anywho, Sarah continued with, “So do we have to start taking no-baby pills now so that we don’t have a baby?”

You see, when the girls have asked me about the little pill I take before I go to bed every night (they are far too observant), I tell them that’s my no-baby pill so that I don’t have any more babies. (Okay, so maybe I need to rethink that conversation.) I tried to explain that while, yes, no-baby pills work to keep you from having a baby, there are things that mamas and daddies do to make babies that you won’t need to worry about for a long, long, long time (like when you are 25, she says, as she sticks her head in the sand). “What’s that, Mama?” And I stupidly responded, “Sex.” “What’s sex, Mama?” I somehow managed to change the subject by responding again that it’s something they wouldn’t have to worry about for a long, long, long time, and then said, “Hey look! They mowed the cow pasture! What are the cows going to eat now!?”

I’m guessing the topic of “What’s sex?” has now probably come up at school amongst their friends. I can hear it now: “Destiny, do you know what sex is? My Mama said it’s what mamas and daddies do to make babies.” I am expecting a call from the school any day now.

This Mama stuff….when you don’t have your own Mama around, it’s very much a make-it-up-as-you-go-along thing. I guess even if you do have your Mama around, you might still be making it up as you go along. There are mornings when it just smacks me out of nowhere. I’ll be standing at the kitchen sink, washing up the breakfast dishes while trying to keep the girls on task to brush their teeth, pack their backpacks and get ready to head out the door, and it smacks me right across the face: I’m a mother. I don’t know why it sometimes hits me that way. From early on, I knew I wanted children. Heck, I wanted four children! Boys! I think maybe that came from seeing my college boyfriend’s family. They are a family of four boys who all absolutely adore their Mama. But still there are days that I find myself amazed that I am a mother…that I am worthy of this task…that I have been given this blessing…that I have the qualifications for this most wonderful of jobs… Maybe it’s because we had to go through so much to get where we are, who knows?

Take a peek over at Brene Brown’s post today. She and I corresponded a bit after this post and I’m working on doing a few things on campus related to this project. What does this have to do with being a mother, you ask, other than what should be the obvious that “perfect mother” is an oxymoron? In our emails, she directed me to a TED talk she did about vulnerability, and what she speaks of everyday, having ordinary courage, taking the time to realize the small wonderfulness that happens in our lives every day. The little things we take for granted. That’s what it has to do with being a mother. I will remember the conversation Sarah and I had Friday morning hopefully for the rest of my days. And standing at the kitchen sink tomorrow morning, I will remember what a blessing it is to stand there and wash the breakfast dishes of two little angels. And I will be amazed and overjoyed that I am their Mama. And I will be incredibly grateful for that gift. How about you? Have you taken the time to think about what you are grateful for today?


Sharon said...

Beautiful Kelly. I still remember the days of those conversations and the angst of having to come up with very creative answers for my bright little minds. Love your blog.

chrissy said...

oh kelly.
i LOVE this post. and i so needed it today as i am dealing with so many "life" issues with kiddos from 8 to 18...and so often i want to just call up my own mom and say..."what in the heavens am i suppose to do now!" but she is in heaven and not answering her calls. so i try to figure it all out on my own. i am on my way to brene.s post. you are a beautiful mother with beautiful children. they are blessed as much as you are.

cath c said...

there's never a bad time for the birds and bees talk, and it changes as they grow.

i so thoroughly appreciate being a mom (to the boys) and mommy (to toots)right now, even when it's tough. sometimes, esp when it's tough.

the best thing right now, is toots just tells me she loves me about a thousand times a day. for absolutely no reason except that she does.

Anonymous said...

Kelly - you're doing a great job! As the Mom of 2 girls - ages 34 and 31, I had this conversation with my girls when #1 was in 2nd grade too. She kept asking, so I went to the library and got the book "Where do Babies Come From". I read it to both girls-thinking they're never to young to learn, right? It went well, until MY Kelli's new favorite word was "vagina". She used it randomly and the first time was within ear-shot of MY Dad. I thought he was gonna have a coronary! After explaining just why she used that word, he could only laugh and said "that's Kelli!" She is SO much like her Daddy, so you're not surprised are you?

Keep up the good work with your own girlies - they'll turn out as beautiful, successful and productive as ours have.

*&#! Nancy

Kelly Warren said...

Sharon--thanks so much for stopping in! Nice to see you here.

Chrissy--we'll figure it out together, sweet girl, with the help of our Mamas looking down on us. I'm sure they must have found each other by now. :-)

Cath--and I guess you have to have different versions of these talks, too, don't you? I just have girls to deal with. You've got both!

Nancy--that is too funny. I remember the little girl who used to live next to us on Dodd Road. Her name was Caroline. One day I saw her outside, and she marched over to me and said, "Me and my mom and have a vagina. My Dad has a penis. What do you and Mr. Benny have?" It was all I could do not to fall on the ground laughing. She was 5!

DeAnne said...

Too funny Kelly- I had those conversations with Evan waaaay too early as well.
Thanks for reminding me how blessed I am to perform those mundane everyday tasks.
And I love love love the photo.


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