As I drove up to the school to pick up my son today, the supervising teacher approached my car and leaned in the window. In her hand, she clutched the kid's Spiderman notebook. There was something she wanted me to see, a written conversation between my son and his best friend Anthony (of I'm in Love with a Stripper fame). Below is the conversation, written as spelled:
Anthony: Do you want to hold Nocole
The Kid: Yes. Do you want nocole to come to your crib at 1:00 to sex her
Anthony: Yes. Would you have sex?
The Kid: Yes. Do you wnat to have babyies with Nocole
The Kid: Do you want to marry nicole (finally on the spelling!!) kiss on the lips
My first comment? "Are you trying to get put out of this school?" You see, neither Anthony nor my kid go to the school they're zoned to. Instead, they're in a magnet program at a much nicer school. I didn't say much on the drive home or the subsequent trip to the grocery store. His dad called and I told him. I'm not sure exactly what he said, but he looked appropriately contrite.
So tonight I got my turn. And in true Baptist fashion, I turned on the scare tactics. First, I asked him what was sex. His definition? Kissing, hugging, and sleeping together. "That is not all sex is," I told him (but didn't go into any details), "and if you have it before you know what it is or before you're ready, you could end up with a baby. Are you ready for a baby? Hell, no! You ain't got a job! You barely have a roof over your head. You could also get a disease. Do you understand that you could get something that will kill you? You'll be DEAD!" His eyes got really big. His mouth drew up tight. He nodded obediently.
Oh, of course I know this wasn't the best way to handle this. But my kid is 7. S-E-V-E-N!! And my parents scared me pretty effectively--now in my 30s, I still have sex phobias. And my sister was a big help. She was watching The Passion of the Christ in the background, the scenes where He's being nailed to the cross and pulled up. So with tears in her eyes, she told the kid, "Look at this man dying for you and you down there at that school showing out. You laughing at him just like those soldiers are. I am so disappointed." Yeah, we piled it on thick. So thickly that we had to hide our own smirks (especially when sis managed to work Jesus into it).
Seriously, I did rag on him about the references to Nicole. "She's somebody," I kept saying, "And you don't write about her like she's just entertainment for you and Anthony. Would you like it if your dad had written about me like that? Do you want your uncle writing about Aunt like that? Do you want your grandpas writing about your grannnies like that? You were very disrespectful to Nicole. Whenever you are ready to have sex, it'll be between you and the person. Not you, your friends, and the person. You don't talk about girls like that!"
He seemed to at least understand that part. Or maybe I just scared the hell out of him.
This is really a learning experience.