Friday, March 22, 2013

On A Scale of 1-10:

How bad is it that I was the only mom at the fifth grade boys' maturation program? Are we talking about years of emotional damage, or will this blow over in like a month? 

It just never even occurred to me that I wouldn't go with Holden. It's not that Mike was too busy. In fact, he stayed home with the kids so I could make it. And it's not that Mike isn't "there" for Holden and is squeamish about discussing such things as maturation (to be said in the voice of "Cajun Man.") It was just like one of us was going to go, so I went. Is this modern, forward-thinking, stereoptype-busting awesomeness? Or, just stupid weirdness? I wish I knew.

So I arrived on the dreaded day and I noticed that it was ALL DADS waiting outside the classroom for the boys' maturation program. I got a ton of funny looks, and people literally kept telling me I was in the wrong place and the girls' program was on the other side of the school in the library.

"Oh, no," I said, "I'm here for my son." Then they would raise their eyebrows at me. Maybe they thought I was a tragic single mother doing my best to support my fatherless boy. Maybe they thought Holden's dad was a deadbeat who doesn't care about these things. I kept wanting to make excuses, like "oh, his dad is all tied up at work" but I stopped myself because it was a lie and because why should it be weird that I was there?

So, anyways, I was embarrassed for nothing because, literally, all they talked about was taking showers every day and how to deal with foot odor. They showed a video that made quick mention of hormones and hair growth, and said many times how these changes are preparing the boys for marriage and fatherhood (which, for some reason, bugged me. I am not anti-marriage or fatherhood by any means, but hello, agenda. Nice to have you pushed right into my face....)

Showers and foot odor: that was IT. The major thing you EXPECT them to talk about --you know--was never mentioned. Afterwards the doctor who did the presentation told me he was asked not to talk about the major thing. He was told to keep it conservative. Hello? Then what did we come here for?  Are the parents who complain about "explicit" maturation programs the same parents who are too embarrassed to talk about this stuff at home, too? I am all about parents being the number one source of information, but I also think that it would be nice for a doctor to tell these boys that certain things are normal and what to expect and how to deal with things in a setting like this one. Because some parents aren't going to want to have these discussions, and boys need the right kind of guidance.

So, I guess I'm a sex-ed advocate now.

Then afterwards the vice principal put his arm around me and said "well, I hope you weren't too uncomfortable in there" like, sort of in a patronizing way. And I wish I hadn't but I just played along and said " wasn't too bad" sort of sheepishly. I wish I had said something like "um, I think I can handle a discussion of foot odor." It bugged.  Holden totally seems fine that I was there, by the way. I just hope this doesn't come back to haunt him or me in the future.

Tonight is the Mother-Son date at the school. I guess it's okay for me to take him to that. And, yes, I am calling it "MotherBoy." 


  1. MotherBoy. Heh. That's funny.

    Now that you are a sex-ed advocate, make sure you never forget the hyphen.

  2. Hahaha. Did I type that wrong? Hyphens are super confusing to me.

  3. Christian went with Sam to his but I think all they talked about was correcting people's punctuation.

  4. Savannah had her maturation program a few weeks ago. They just talked about periods and body changes. No sex yet. But in a few weeks they have maturation program part two. So I'm assuming they'll discuss it then. I'm curious to find out if they do. I don't think I was taught about it in 5th grade either. I think they waited until 8th to talk about sex. I agree with you though, I think they should talk about it in 5th grade. As far as your agenda frustration goes, I can think of some worse agendas than teaching that sex is for marriage:

    1. You are so right, Alisa. I am really glad that if any agenda was going to be pushed, it was one that reinforces what I teach at home.I realize how lucky we are to live in a community that still holds those values dear! My problem wasn't so much WHAT the agenda was. It was the fact that the video they showed was ALL agenda with no specifics at all. Just a bunch of vague allusions to "changes" and then a hard line on those changes preparing kids for marriage. I think it would have been a lot more effective to be specific in the context of the marriage agenda. "This is exactly what will start happening to you, it is normal and good, and this is why it will prepare you for being a dad and a husband." That would have been better. Being so vague only adds to the mystery and forbidden sense of it all, which is an attitude we want to be careful of. Also, I should have been more clear that I wasn't even expecting them to talk about sex. I just thought they would talk about "nocturnal emissions," which was the big thing I was referring to. I do think that sex should be talked about responsibly and very clinically in school, though. Let me know what happens at Savannah's next big program. I'm interested too!

    2. Ah, I understand you better now. I see, that makes a lot of sense. I totally agree that being vague & adding to the forbidden mystery is bad. That's how I was taught (or rather not taught) about sex and it was not very helpful to me at all. Just made me confused. I would have much preferred an upfront, honest, even detailed approach. I'll let you know how maturation part 2 goes! ;) By the way, I think you're totally awesome for being the only mom there! It's time to shake things up in Rexburg a bit. :)

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  6. No unmentionables in our house. We live on a farm. When you catch the duck humping the goose in the spring, there might be some explaining to do. Couple nights ago Mom throws out, "Do you know how you get aids?" That day at school it was made obvious that special ed kids don't know how aids is acquired. So we got to cover that while having dinner. I'm trying to right the wrong of the previous generation by laying out the facts. Any time something is mentioned or implied we cover the details to make sure the information is accurrate. Good times...