I recently found out that my daughter's school will be teaching sex ed in fifth grade. I have so many thoughts and feelings about this, and I feel like my head and heart are going to explode.
My initial reaction to the news was that my daughter isn't ready. If you know the characters George and Harold from Captain Underpants, her humor is right in line with theirs — very silly and immature potty humor. She bursts into laughter anytime someone says "Uranus," and always gets a laugh when she pranks my husband or myself with a whoopee cushion.
The truth is I like having an immature and naive little girl. I love the fact that she still has an imaginative mind and believes in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy.
My second thought was that I'm not ready. When I look at my daughter, I still see my baby girl. I feel like it was just yesterday that I was giving her a bath in the kitchen sink. I blinked and she grew into a little girl. I blinked again and she became a big girl — and now, a tween. Ready or not, puberty is coming, and then I'll blink again and she'll be a young woman.
The truth is I like having an immature and naive little girl. I love the fact that she still has an imaginative mind and believes in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy. I feel like most children are in a rush to grow up these days, and so many things about our society encourages that. It's refreshing to me to have a daughter like mine, and I don't want her to lose her incredible innocence, even though I know she eventually will. I want her to be a child forever, but I know she won't.
Coming from an Italian-Catholic family, I grew up with my mom telling me to wait to have sex until I was married — or else. With my own daughter, I'll let her know that waiting until she's married would be a wonderful gift to herself and her husband, but I don't want her to ever feel ashamed of wanting to have sex before marriage or feeling like she's sinning. Sex is a beautiful act of love, and someday, most likely before she finds wedded bliss, she'll want to experience it with someone she loves dearly.
I suppose I should thank the school for helping me face the hard reality that my little girl is growing up and giving me the push I need to have the birds and the bees talk with her. Of course it will be uncomfortable and awkward, but when is it not? I'm her mother and I want to be the one to have that talk with her before her teacher or friends do. I will do my best to give her all of the facts and information she needs to keep her safe. As she gets older, I want her to be comfortable coming to me with any questions, even if that means asking me for contraceptives. As her parent, it's my job to care for her, educate her, keep her safe, and prepare her for life — and that is exactly what I intend to do, even if it's before I'm ready.