These items were waiting for me when I got home tonight.
I ordered them both myself, but I still felt my colon hiccup when I opened the box. It wasn’t because I live in fear of escaping a flaming house and training my 8yo to do the same. I was about to shit my pants over having to go through the It’s So Amazing book (about eggs, sperm, birth, babies and families). This means talking to my girl about committed adult relationships, which include sex if you’re not blowing it. Wait. That was so unintentionally bad I have to leave it in the post.
Honestly I’d like to use that fire escape ladder to crawl right out of my life and avoid all this, but I promised to buy her a children’s book about this topic last month when she cornered me at the dinner table about cat vaginas and bunny sex. Handling the other parts of the conversation about marriage, why her dad and I aren’t still married, and if we’re going to marry other people, will be relatively easy. Her looking at me and saying “ew” when she realizes I’ve had sex is the part I’m not looking forward to. Kids already think sex is gross, but their mom having sex is a whole new level of disgusting.
Basically all this stuff stokes the internal-shit fire in me. I’d rather stab myself with that hot poker than deal with it, but my goal is to avoid having my kid end up on a couch with a box of tissue saying it’s all my fault. Hold on. Of course she’s going to end up on a couch and say it’s all my fault. That’s what kids do. Then they realize their insurance plan only covers so much and they need to shit or get off the pot and start living for tomorrow instead of yesterday. That’s what happened to me anyway. Except I paid cash because I didn’t have insurance until I was 30.
Point: in the middle of my anxiety attack in the garage, I asked my self, “what in the fuck is going on with you? You’re approaching this Q&A with an 8yo like you’re presenting a national plan to incorporate dog meat into school cafeterias.”
Here’s what the fuck was going with me: when I imagined her tiny face while having that discussion, it wasn’t my grown-up, loving mom self that was sitting there with her. It was my 8yo self, filled with fear, anger, and disappointment about this topic. I witnessed sex in adult relationships too early, with too many people, in inappropriate ways, and it colored my view. I exited my childhood with a lot of fucked up information about what intimacy is, what love is, what respect is. My view of sex was entirely negative. It took me a while to get over that, but I eventually realized that none of the things I saw were my decisions to make. The adults in my life were doing the best they could with the information they had. But that’s their shit, not mine.
When I recognized that, and realized that Anna’s experience will be totally different from mine, I lost my shit a little bit. In a good way. It was like watching bags on an airport baggage carousel, and finally knowing: that bag doesn’t belong to me.