When you really don’t want to ask Mom…

I was sitting around a dinner table last night listening to my friend Carl talk about the high school sex-ed course he teaches, and the kind of questions he gets. Whew. Let’s just say I’m completely unqualified to teach high school sex-ed.

It made me think, though. In my new book Seeing Red, there’s a chapter about blood and coming-of-age rites. The first draft of the book included a section about circumcision. But, at the request of both the publisher and the editor, I removed all but one small sidebar.

They thought the information was too sensitive for middle-grade readers. And when the publisher and editor agree, they’re right 99 percent of the time. Maybe 99.9 percent of the time.

Then there’s this: I distinctly remember sitting on my bedroom floor in grade seven and working on my homework for Lutheran church school. There was a word in the Bible reading which I didn’t understand.

I had realized by this point that I shouldn’t ask my mother to define words for me, because most words I didn’t understand were words that I didn’t want to talk about with my mother.

But, this was the Bible.

I asked my mother.

And, she explained circumcision — a topic which, as a 12-year-old girl, was so excruciatingly embarrassing that I remember the conversation to this day.

Now I ask you: if you were 10, or 11, or 12, and you didn’t understand circumcision, how would you rather learn? From a science book, or from your mom?

Just saying.

One thought on “When you really don’t want to ask Mom…

  1. I’m all for circumcision… To be discussed in science books! That is until my child is verbal then I am a mom that would love to answer that question! Love the blog.

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