It was one of those questions I will never forget. The image of her inquisitive eyes gazing into my horrified, panic-stricken face would probably have made some photographer very rich. The only problem was this was not a moment I was going to be thrilled to remember. Does any parent look forward to discovering that today is the day? She waited expectantly and one thought rattled my already overloaded brain. Oh. My. Gosh. We are really going to have to do this now, aren’t we? I don’t want to do this now why do I have to do this now I need a minute to think wait let me call your dad and get back to you. Just one second. Be right back! I called her father and implored on behalf of us both.
“Hi, Babe! How are you?”
“Good? I’m so glad! Well, uh…things are…interesting around here. I think it’s time for The Talk.”
“Yes, I do. She came home today with more questions and if I don’t take this opportunity now someone else is going to get to her brain before I do.”
“Ok. What should I say? It’s not exactly like I’m an old pro at this.”
“Great idea! I’ll let God do the talking. Ok, I will let you go. Pray for me!”
We hung up and I took a deep breath. I looked toward Heaven and begged for mercy and exactly the right words to say. How did the pioneer mothers do this? They didn’t have television or public schools so I imagine their kids just watched the livestock and learned that way. Oh dear God I wish I had some livestock! An hour and several scriptures later all her questions were answered, my brain was completely fried, and my stomach felt like it just been on a visit to the tilt a whirl. She on the other hand was perfectly content to finish her game of tether ball alone in the backyard. That was almost too easy. Wait! That was too easy! Oh dear God I still wish I had some livestock!
When I woke up the next morning my head ached, my stomach was still upset, and I really just wanted to cry. Lord, I could sure use a friend right now. I silently watched for any sign of mental anguish coming from my child. Shouldn’t she be at least as freaked out about this as I am? One would think that such a colossal discussion would have left some residual discomfort. Apparently I was the only one who was still covered in a thick coat of awkward. Alrighty then.
Peering out the front window, I noticed there weren’t any cows on the front lawn. Not that it would have mattered at this point. Stupid cows. The phone rang just as were headed out the front door. I had to smile at God’s sense of priority. Suddenly I didn’t mind my empty front lawn so much. I had a good friend waiting for me at our favorite coffee shop.
Beneath the smells of fresh brewed lattes and pumpkin bread I gave her a rundown of the previous day’s discussion. In turn, she hugged me and asked for my notes. Then we went shopping. I suppose there are advantages to being the first of your friends to hit this milestone. They will come to you when it’s their turn to pray for livestock. Then after it’s over everyone gets to reward herself with good coffee (or good tea in my case) and a little retail therapy. After having gone through one of life’s most difficult and fundamental rites of passage, I am thankful God gave me such a wonderful friend to help lighten the load.
Ointment and perfume delight the heart, and the sweetness of a man’s friend gives delight by hearty counsel.—Proverbs 27:10 NKJV