The other day my husband got a text from his ex-wife warning him that Landon may be bringing home a book. I am a huge fan of books, so I think why did she use the word ‘warn.’ Apparently the book is called “Perfectly Normal:Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex and Sexual Health.” Aha! Now the use of the word ‘warn’ seems perfectly fitting. Landon who is nine found the book his mom had bought for big brother. Now, I suppose at nine he was not far off from having a curiosity about such subjects. But his mom reported he was glued to the book and might be unwilling to leave it at her place for the few days he was with us. I must admit my throat went dry and I had some quick images go through my mind of him and Justin sitting in their room coaching each other on the facts of life.
I know that someday those kinds of conversations will need to happen with Justin, but he is eight. And he is a YOUNG eight. I don’t think he is ready for talks about sex. Heck, I am not ready!
It just surfaced for me one of the other oddities of being in a stepfamily. Or maybe it is true with any large family, but it seems to me that the teen years and the teen attitudes hit awfully early. When Justin and I lived alone, he had no one to model such behaviors. Now, we experience the trickle down effect. If a movie is okay for the 16 year old, then the 14 year old argues that she should be able to watch it. If we cave on the 14 year old’s request, then the 11 year old argues that he is only a couple of years behind her and mature for his age and he should be able to watch it. And so it goes. I usually draw the line with Justin – even though he is only one year younger than Landon. It is a slippery slope. And I am not quite willing to give on some things. I was ready to take a stand on the Changing Bodies issue for now. As it turns out, the book did not appear at our house so I can wait awhile for the sex talk with the eight and nine year old, and as far as I am concerned that is “perfectly normal.”