My daughter was asking me about boys and dating. We got on the subject of kisses and she asked me if I’d kissed anyone in the last year. I told her yes. She asked if it was a smooch or a peck and I told her those were grown up conversations. She said she wanted to know so I told her it was neither. She waited. She is stubborn too.
So, I told her it was a lips and tongue passionate kiss that lasted several minutes and included a tight hug. She seemed shocked. She asked why I would ever do that and I told her because it feels good and makes someone I care about feel good. I said it’s fun and exciting and helps build feelings of love.
She was horrified and emboldened by my honesty. So, she asked if I’d had sex in the last year. Now it was my turn to be horrified! So, I said that was a grown up question and I would not answer. She asked if the last time I had sex was when I got pregnant with her brother. She is young, she can use adult words and initiate adult conversations, but moments like this remind me there is so much still for her to learn, and I’m the one who is responsible for teaching her.
I said no. I told her people don’t have sex just to have babies. She looked incredulous. In her mind, no one would ever want to have sex. So if there wasn’t a baby at the end, why go through the hassle? So I told her the part that all the sex ed classes with their pregnancy scares, disease scares and ruin-your-life terror warnings forget to mention. People have sex for the same reasons they kiss: because it’s fun and is an expression of love and it feels really good to do it with someone you love and who loves you back.
She was shocked! She thought sex was only for making babies.
I asked if she’d ever seen her dad kiss his wife and she said “no way!” She’s only seen passionate kisses, “by accident” on TV and she insisted she never wanted to see it in real life! What a shame, I thought! We hide intimacy and affection from our kids. We scare them with stories of lives ruined and teen pregnancy but their bodies and their hearts start to yearn for others when they are teens. I won’t perpetuate the shame building. I’ve got to model the right behavior and love is the best behavior to model.
So I warned her she better save up her allowance to buy dark sunglasses because when I fall in love again I’m going to be doling out tongue kisses and sloppy kisses and swooning weak in the knees falling over in his arms kisses and swoony eyes and holding hands and endless hugs in front of God and everyone and nothing’s going to stop me!
Now she won’t talk to me.
Why don’t we ever tell our kids about how wonderful it is to have sloppy wet tongue kisses and other awesome things that express love for someone?