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9:36 a.m. - 2011-10-12
Our Bodies, Our Kids.

Yesterday was one of those 'mom' days they never talk about in parenting books. I picked my kid up after school to take him to his counseling appointment. (Aspie stuff.) After counseling we chatted about his day and he brought up something that's kind of preying on him.

Wolf's school is sponsoring a breast cancer awareness event of some sort. He and I have spoken before about the pink ribbon thing and while we agree the fight against breast cancer is very important I'm of the mind that since women's health is at the forefront during October that the time might begin to be shared with other women's health issues like heart disease and domestic violence- both of which kill more women every year than breast cancer does. As it stands now statistically I have a higher risk of Mick killing me than rogue cells in my breast do. Sad, eh? Wolf knows this and was saying a pink ribbon event at his school seemed a little foolish- teenage girls aren't likely to get breast cancer and at their age their odds of being smacked around by a boyfriend were a zillion times higher. I suggested he use his new membership in the school's do-gooder club as a stepping stone to bring attention to this issue and perhaps next year the fundraising events might have a broader agenda. He looked startled and I smiled. This is how it starts, I told him, by one person speaking up. Yes, even a 14 year old guy has the power to instigate change.

So we talked about the politics of raising awareness and money for a cause. And somewhere in there he tossed off a comment about how men don't get breast cancer anyhow. ???! They most certainly do. I told him about Peter Criss the drummer for KISS who is a breast cancer survivor. Breast cancer in men isn't common, but it does happen. I reminded him that all humans start out as female and it's the combination of chromosomal potential (XY) and a flush of particular hormones during early fetal development that makes males. This is why men have nipples. Wolf nodded. "Everybody has nipples but men have penises and women have vaginas."

True, I said, but if we are to be accurate- men have penises and women have clitorises. The cells that become a penis in males become a clitoris in females. Plus we have vaginas. And urethras in yet another spot. Men have a handy-dandy all purpose organ- pee, pleasure and procreation in one device, but the violence of giving birth demands that women's genitals have a different set-up. We couldn't pee out of our vaginas, what would happen when we were pregnant? Hold it for 9 months? Same deal with our feel-good place. It had to be protected from the birth canal or after that first kid our ability to have an orgasm would be toast.

Wolf is 14 so he snickered. The idea that his old mom knew what an orgasm was just killed him. Then he sobered up, cocked his head and asked, "Clitoris?" So I explained what it was and its approximate location. Wolf nodded, thanked me for the info and then drifted off into his own thoughts. I cranked the stereo, pointed the car towards home and thought about how when I'd gotten up that morning I had no idea I'd be discussing the clitoris with my teenage son. I was grateful our whole day wasn't laid out for us upon waking. If it were then yesterday I'd have definitely pulled the covers over my head and stayed in bed.

Today I think I'll limit my dispensing of maternal wisdom to the importance of putting his sneakers away properly and how to make a killer apple crisp.


Heh, and you younger moms think potty training is an ordeal. *snerk* ~LA


11 Wanna talk about it!

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