S, my nine year old, stayed home from school today. He said that his stomach felt “weird”. He rarely stays home sick, he just got the honor roll again, and I was already considering playing hooky today. So, I kept him home with me.
Well, I should say, I dragged him to school with me. I don’t feel bad about it, he gulped down two pieces of sausage, a biscuit, and hash browns in the school cafeteria while chattering away. I had to pick up an HIV test from the clinic, drive it to the local Department of Health, and talk to their HIV training coordinator about training new testers in the fall.
S loves science. I told him about AIDS. He was enraptured, asking all sorts of questions. When we got to methods of transmission, I mentioned sex.
Since we are studying reproductive endocrinology lately, I have been staring at the ticking clock of the time left before S hits puberty. Literally. The bar chart of age and the different pubertal developmental changes in the male adolescent was projected in all of its 20 foot high glory at the front of our lecture auditorium during class the other day. My classmates were busy scribbling notes, and I was staring in horror at the two years left before Tanner stage 2, before I have “the talk” with my son.
It seemed to come naturally today. We talked very little about the mechanics of sex. I talked more about the timing of it, pregnancy, disease (well, that is what lead into it), and some of the social aspects and emotional issues involved. I had already been telling him about AIDS for about ten minuets at this point, and after a five minute intro to sex, he was a little overwhelmed. He told me that he wanted to hear more about it, but not now. I asked him if he would rather learn about it from a book or from me, and he said me.
Whew! Not so bad so far.