Story is nine and a passenger on the nonstop puberty train of tears. I’ve been thinking about how to have the sex talk with her. I’m a pretty open person and have no qualms about talking body parts and functions. I just wasn’t sure how to open the conversation. Well, Story did it for me. With lizards.
On our way home one evening, she told me about a video she watched about lizards. Apparently, there was a portion of the video during which the lizards were mating.
“Mom, I know how lizards mate.”
“Oh yeah? Tell me about it.”
“The male gets on the female’s back and bites her neck. That’s how the male’s DNA gets into the female for the eggs.”
A perfect opening! Confident that I had this in the bag, I began my spiel in earnest. “That’s not how the DNA is transferred. DNA is transferred when the male inserts his penis into the female’s vagina and–“
“Are you serious?! That’s how animals have sex?”
“Yes, people too, and–“
“That is so gross! I am never having sex!”
Smiling to myself, I was happy to hear this but amused at her insistence. Oh, how things would change one day. “But there is more to it.”
“OHMYGOSH, Mom, is that how you and Dad had me?”
“Yes …” We were getting off track here.
Before I could think of how to get us back to the facts of sex, she asked, “Why was he biting her neck?”
Without thinking, I said, “Probably to keep her still.”
She thought about this. I panicked. What am I saying? “Sex isn’t a bad thing though.”
She wasn’t convinced. “I don’t think I’d like it. Do you regret it?”
Trying to be honest and open, like I had planned back before this awful conversation began, I said, “Yes, I regret a few times. But, not all. Definitely not all.”
“Do you regret having sex with my dad?”
“Of course not! Then I wouldn’t have had you.”
This conversation was done. I needed to regroup. I ended on a positive note, and now I just needed to keep my mouth shut and pray she changed the subject.
I confessed to Ali later. Of course, she thought it was hilarious and was appropriately scandalized at the lizard rape. I tried to think of ways to fix it. Her response to every single idea was: No. I will fix it though. Maybe a book?
Really, I think it was the lizard’s fault.