“Dad…what kind of changes?
We knew it was coming, but I still wasn’t quite braced for it.
The thing is, I anticipated it being this incredibly significant event. I’d take the boys up into the mountains, we would watch a sunrise and I’d tell them of the beauty of all God’s creation. Then I would effortlessly guide them through The Talk. Then we would hike down the mountain. The boys, confident in their masculinity and maturation, and I, I would likely be thinking hard about getting Kristan pregnant just so I could have the talk again someday.
That’s not at all how it went. First of all. I don’t like camping…so there’s that.
The truth is, it went better.
I told them about certain physical changes they would endure. The funny stuff: voice changing, getting hairy & told them that the days of showering once every three days (read: five days) would be over.
It was important, however, to take this opportunity. They are young, and this conversation is an ongoing journey and not a one time “check it off the list” of parental responsibilities. So, I began.
“It’s not just going to be hair and stink” I said, “The way you think about girls is going to change”.
“I already have a girlfriend!” Asher chimed in.
“I know buddy…and that’s what scares me”
I told the boys that they are really going to notice girls. They are going to think about them, a lot. They are going to talk about them with their friends. They are going to want to hang out with them, and it’s going to be different.
“So here’s the thing guys. As you get older and begin to notice girls we are going to talk a lot about how to both honor and respect God and girls with your words, actions and even your thoughts. The most important thing is that you know this: We are in this together. My dad wasn’t around when I was a kid and I didn’t have anyone to talk about all this stuff with. You can tell me anything and ask me anything. I’ll tell you the truth and it won’t be awkward for me. You just have to promise that when you become teenagers you won’t ever disrespect your mother. Deal?”
“And dad” Nolan said, “I won’t feel awkward either”
We still have a lot of conversations in our future, but these boys…I’m proud of these boys.