My recent post about the embarrassing question I asked my son has spurred some conversations in my part of the world.
First, let me assure you all that I've learned my lesson and will refrain from intruding on his privacy. Despite the fact that I changed hundreds of diapers on that little bottom...
I am positive my mom asked me the same question, in the same blunt way (she has the same missing filter), when I was that age. And I would have answered her. But I'm a girl, and I like attention.
When I was my son's age and went through the rites of passage, I blabbed about it to everyone. I was 14 when I got my first "mommy, mommy," as the neighborhood boys called it.
That's when a girl of a certain age goes to the bathroom for the first time and finds a crimson surprise that will visit her each month for the next 40-some years. She yells, "Mommy, mommy!" from the bathroom, the boys said.
I told all of my friends of my new womanhood, and they told their brothers, and pretty soon the Colbert and the Wills brothers were teasing me for having my first "mommy, mommy." I was always smaller and slightly behind the developmental curve among my friends, so when something like that happened, I wanted everyone to know.
It's what we girls did. We compared our bodies and the changes they were going through. When I was in sixth grade, one of my classmates was the first to grow hair "down there," and she held showings in the girls bathroom on the third floor at Highland Park Grade School. "Lisa's going to show us her pubic hair when we go for our bathroom break!"
We surreptitiously passed around the book, "Are you there God, it's me, Margaret," and dog-eared the page that referred to the main character getting her first "mommy, mommy."
I apologized to my son for embarrassing him. As he passes through those awkward stages of maturity, I too pass through awkward stages of parenting.