Chris is our older son. I can't remember just what age he was when he started having questions about the birds and the bees, probably around first grade. But this story happened a little later. We'd already had a few "discussions," but his knowledge was pretty limited.
So, one day he accompanied me to the drug store, where I picked up a prescription. "What's that for?" he asked, as I was preparing to pay for it. Well, since this story is about the birds and bees, you might guess what the prescription was. I didn't think standing there, at the counter, in Fred Meyer, was the place to have such a discussion. "I'll tell you when we get to the car," I responded.
He didn't forget.
When we got into the car he asked again, "So what's that medicine for?" I told him, as delicately as I could, that since Daddy and I thought our family was perfect just the way it was -- with a daddy, a mommy and two boys -- that this was some medicine I took so we probably wouldn't have another baby, unless, of course, God thought we needed one.
I looked over at him, to see if I could read his face. It was all crinkled up. He was thinking hard. "Yeah, but," he started, "You couldn't have a baby unless . . ." [there was a l-o-n-g pause, you might call it a "pregnant pause" I guess - heh heh] "Oh!" he said, slumping forward. Now his face was kind of white and I thought maybe he was going to go into shock. I could tell he didn't want to talk about it any more right then. His body language clearly screamed, "I know how babies are made, but . . . surely not my mom and dad!"
Not long after, I bought a really neat little book to help explain things a little better. I sat down with him one afternoon, while Tim was taking a nap, and we read the book, and he asked questions and I answered them. He seemed pretty cool with the whole thing, and when both of us thought his questions had been answered adequately, he gave me a hug and went outside to play.
Minutes later he dashed inside to get a drink of water and to ask if he could play in the cul-de-sac with Big-Tim, who, I had seen, was waiting for Chris in our front yard. (This little guy, younger than Chris but older than our Tim, was known in the neighborhood as "Big-Tim," while our Tim had been tagged, "Li'l-Tim.") "OK," I said, "And by the way, everything we talked about is between you and me and Daddy. Be sure you don't talk about it with any of the other kids." I looked over to see if he was listening. He finished gulping down his glass of water, wiped his mouth with his sleeve, then said, rather apologetically, "Whoops."
I shook my head, closed my eyes and sighed heavily. It was time to give Big-Tim's mom a heads-up phone call.