2013-05-02 / Columns

Chicken Soup For The Soul

The Talk

by Christa Gala

“I think, at a child’s birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift should be curiosity.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

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A mother explains the birds and the bees to her young son.

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Recently when my 8-year-old son Tyler asked me how babies were made, I did what I’d promised myself I’d never do: I ignored his question. I really didn’t want to tell him this young.

Then again, I’d rather he hear it from me than another kid. But how do you delicately give them the information they want without overwhelming them with too much? I really didn’t know. I was Tyler’s age when I went to my mom with the very same question, and I distinctly remember bellowing, “THAT IS DISGUSTING!”

Still, though, my mom hadn’t avoided my question, and that really counted for something. That’s the kind of relationship we had, and have, and I want to have that with Tyler, too. I want him to feel he can come to me with anything at any time. So I revisited the topic with him a few days later, asking if he still wanted to know.

“Yes,” he said. “I mean, do you just get lucky? Is that how you have a baby?”

Oh, that was my golden opportunity. I should have just ended it there and said, “Yes,” adding a disclaimer, “the guy gets lucky, and the girl gets pregnant.” But I figured that was cheating and not really in the spirit of what I was trying to accomplish. That was more in line with the duck-anddodge mode of parenting, which I’ve been known to employ.

So instead I sighed and said, “Well, first, you have a man and a woman who are married and in love ...” Now, I know this isn’t always true, but I really wasn’t up for explaining all the variations that can make up a family.

“Mom, I know that! I mean, how are they made?”

At that point I decided it would be a good idea to borrow a line from one of the websites I’d Googled after he asked me the question the first time. “Well, the man gives love to the woman, and then a baby grows in her belly, and it comes out when it’s ready.”

Even to me it sounded vague and confusing.

“What? But how? I don’t get it.”

Tyler wasn’t going to let me off the hook. So, finally, I just told him the real deal, plain and simple, careful not to give too much information, but using the correct terms.


“I know it’s confusing and it may sound weird, but it’s a very beautiful thing,” I added hopefully.

Tyler looked dubious.

“Are you confused?” I asked him.

“I don’t know. But I know one thing.”

“What’s that?”

“Now I really don’t want to get married!”

I guess you could say mission not accomplished.

Back to the drawing board and, maybe, the library.

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Visit our website: www.chickensoup.com.

(c)2013 by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen

Distributed by King Features Syndicate

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