"Mom," he asked me as we drove down the strip we drive down nearly daily, "What kind of store is 'Mr. Peeps'?"
I let out a subtle giggle-sigh before formulating my answer. At least I THOUGHT it was subtle. But Braedon, the boy with the wise mind and old soul, he caught onto my expression of nervousness. I need to be more careful.
"Braedon, that's a good question but it's hard to answer." Stalling. Still thinking. Too much time has passed.
"Don't answer Mom, I'm embarrassed and scared now."
Shit. How can he know to be these things? It was my damn giggle-sigh. I should have known better.
"Yeah, I'm a little embarrassed too, Braedon and that's okay. But I'm not scared. I'll never be scared to talk to you about anything, and I don't ever want you to be scared to talk to me about anything either. Even and ESPECIALLY when it makes us feel embarrassed, okay?"
"There are times that you are going to hear things at school and you aren't going to know what they mean. Your friends may thing it means something it doesn't. And those things will be weird and probably embarrassing but I want you to tell me. So I can tell you what they REALLY mean, okay?"
I remembered back to my own childhood, when in 4th grade my best friend told me that she gave a classmate of ours a boner. I thought it was some kind of haircut.
He answered excitedly, always on the quest for knowledge. "Okay, and I can go back to school and tell my friends that my mom taught me what those things REALLY are."
Er... I just let that one go. We'll cross that road when we get there, I suppose.
Back to the question at hand, Mr. Peeps.
I launched into this horrible food analogy about babies and how they aren't really interested in PB&J's like he is because their body is too little to eat them. Their digestive system can't handle all the fancy stuff PB&J's are made of and they don't have teeth to chew them with anyway. All they need as a baby to nourish their body is milk.
|free-falling into big kid-dom|
I told him that when you're a baby, you don't even know that one day you will want that PB&J. Your body isn't built for it yet. I told him the same goes for his body. He has a boy body right now, and while it's changing every day, it is very different than the man body he will one day possess. I told him his man body will want different things than his boy body, and that Mr. Peeps has some of the things that his man body will want. Then I told him (this is where it gets really good/awful) that the stuff Mr. Peeps has is like junk food for his grown-up body. And that there are better ways to help his grown-up body out than feeding it junk food. But the junk food, it won't kill him or anything.
"It'll just make me unhealthy."
We went over again how I want him to come to me with any questions he may have about anything, and sometimes that will be hard. I told him I will check in with him every now and then to see if he has any questions he's been saving for me. He liked that idea.
Then we continued on our merry little way, waving to the giant plastic Harvey the Bunny, staple of my childhood and now my childs', Braedon's mind obviously back on to kid things like video games and lunch.
Of course my mind was still on our most recent conversation. I felt like congratulating myself on a job well done, celebrating with my head in the sand, my fingers in my ears, while singing "la la la la la laaaaaa..."
I felt like having a beer.
Instead, we stopped by Mc Donald's for a quick lunch on a hectic Sunday afternoon.
So much for that metaphor...