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.

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

  1. Jill

    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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