“Me and Ritchie like lookin’ at naked girls, Mommy. When we get to be teenagers, we’re gonna have sex with our girlfriends, too!”
After I heard these horrid words coming from our precious five-year-old son, my wounded heart’s condition was confirmed by the fact that I was temporarily not breathing. My eyes were as wide open as they have ever been, which is a very bad parenting omen. Saucer-shaped eyes are a dead giveaway; I was not prepared for this one.
Toby made these blunt statements while happily rocking in my rocker, where I had sent him after noticing his face plastered against the misty door of my shower. Although my husband and I were not prudish about nudity around our children, we had taught them to respect our privacy in the bathroom, so I was a little surprised at Toby’s peeking. I would never have predicted his outrageous response.
As long-time homeschoolers and Bible-believing Christians, we not only protected our children from the world, but also warned them about the very evils from which they were being spared. Not receiving broadcast television put us in a very select group of fanatics, so the fact that he had even heard the word ‘sex’ caught me completely off-guard.
Confusingly, the sweet, pouting lips, which had uttered these dreadful words, were accompanied by Toby’s wondrously innocent eyes. My own brows scrunched repeatedly as I tried to sort it all out. With a fair amount of desperation, I tried to match the expression on that cherubic little face with the words that had shocked me. I could not.
I blinked. I swallowed. I forced myself to take a breath at last. “Toby,” I finally squeaked, “do you remember when we talked about how God makes babies with a miracle?”
“Oh, yes, Mommy!”
“Son, do you remember when I told you about the special seeds God put in your body for your wife? Remember how The Daddy puts the seed into The Mommy’s body so they can have children?” I queried delicately.
He reflected a moment, “So the seeds can find the Mommy’s egg and make their baby -- that part?”
“Yes, that part.”
He smiled and nodded, “I remember.”
Gaining confidence, I softly explained, “Honey, that is what that word, ‘sex’ means. Are you sure you want to do that with a girlfriend someday?”
Jumping from the chair onto his pudgy, short legs, Toby expressed extreme outrage, “What? I would never do that, Mommy! Gross! Nobody is getting my babies exceptin’ for my wife! I’m gonna tell Ritchie I’m not gonna do that. Yuck!” Stomping from the room to find his friend, he was filled with righteous indignation. Can you blame him?
I sat there alone a few minutes. It would have been fun to spy on the boys and witness the fall-out from our little discussion, but I needed to talk to Someone Else. Several months before, the Lord had prompted me to teach my innocent baby about God’s plan for physical intimacy, but I had balked. “He’s too young and we have a lot of time before that subject will come up,” I had reasoned. Nevertheless, I finally succumbed to the Holy Spirit’s gentle suggestion and Toby had been quite receptive.
“Thank you, Lord, you were right,” I sighed. “I’m sorry I hesitated, but I know now that you know what’s best. Forgive me for doubting, Lord. I’ll listen the next time, I promise.” As I prayed, I had the impression that God was smiling. Something still needed to be addressed with Toby and his new friend, Ritchie…now, what was it?
Oh yeah, it was the part about lookin’ at naked girls.