Sometimes it all works out

There are some moments in your life you are pretty sure you can't get back. No do-overs, right? Just when you're sure the joy of that missed moment has escaped you forever, and you give up on healing and agree to making do - sometimes something magical happens right in that space. Sometimes, right in the middle of life's mess, everything goes into slow motion, and you think to yourself, "I think this is what it feels when it goes right." Tonight, in the midst of one of the most uncertain moments of my fledgling mothering career, I got to take a moment back.

And this story, friends, is how sometimes your trepidation turns into pure gold.

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It's a moment we joke about as soon as we get over our own awkwardness. Once you have kids, it's an inevitable moment. One that comes with at least 200% of the awkwardness we felt hearing it from OUR parents. Or at least so I thought. Until tonight.

My children have suddenly become every parent's worst nightmare on the playground with the under 12 set. In what felt like one giant Hindenburg-esque fail bomb of parenting misjudgment, I had THE talk with all three of my girls last night. I wasn't planning on taking the "tell them early or you won't be the one telling them" approach this far. Seriously. I definitely planned on waiting until they could pronounce "sperm" and sign a legally binding contract to die virgins. Okay, okay - maybe just until they're 25.



Perhaps one shouldn't embark on such lofty parenting tasks as this armed only with Youtube, Google images, and one hastily selected parenting book from the Christian bookstore (back when you still went to there). I was counting on my wit, which went out the window about the time I turned purple from laughing and scared the living daylights out of the kids who thought I was going to die on the spot, choking on my ice cream sundae. I think it was around the time I got the question about what to call certain wrinkles or maybe it wasn't until someone wanted to rewind the "squirm" video set to the Jaws theme song so they could watch the egg "eat it" again. (Yes, I'm a feminist, but I swear, not that kind. This takes "man-eater" to a new, terrifying biological level.) At this age, just the facts, right? Unfortunately, the "squirm" video's death march music and the tape-worm looking sperm animation may have scarred them for life. Double unfortunately, I'm a nurse, and I have WAY too many facts in my head to try the "just the facts" approach.

I've been known to fail on this one before. The topic seems to induce some kind of language diarrhea that surreptitiously removes the "age appropriate" filter from my lips. My son asked me why he couldn't reach down my shirt once and somehow he ended up getting it out of me that when he was married, he *might* get to touch his wife's boobs. *Maybe*. He wanted to get married when he was like three, so I might have jumped the gun on sharing that little nugget of information.

This may be why I find myself gasping for oxygen and turning to my inner self with a look of utter shock ("did I really just say that?") at the end of such conversations. Somehow, we got from hormones, periods and pimples to what-WHY?-where, when, how and crescendoing waves of giggles that brought the males of the family to the door with questioning looks. (They, unlike the girls, had the good sense to take my firm advice that they resume watching How It's Made and reading Popular Mechanics in the front room.)

I never pictured I would end this hallmark moment uttering, "No, we canNOT look at the photos of dead people's [parts unnameable except in one's bedroom while laughing hysterically like a hyena]."

Sometimes I seriously wonder if living with nurse parents is scarring them, scaring them, or (maybe?) it's the coolest thing on earth.