It took exactly 9 minutes to explain the way of a man with a woman to my daughter. I know because the timer for the oatmeal cookies baking in the oven went off just as she asked her last question and we wrapped up our talk with a big hug and smiles all around.
It took exactly 1 second for her to observe the way of a man with a woman the night before. I know because that's how long we were frozen in disbelief as we heard the locked door swing open behind us.
Good to know that our daughter is an expert at picking locks. Could come in handy one day when her university tuition comes due. "Honey, there's a big door down at the bank. Think you could tap into that...?"
I guess I always wondered more about the when than the how as I envisioned this future talk with my girls. (I'll leave it to the papa to figure out how to educate his only son.)
Just a few weeks ago we were all piled into the car with a neighbor friend on our way to a fun night out. We, the papa and I, were listening to a comedian on the radio give testimony of how different men and women are. His wife's needs were simple: affection, words of encouragement, and clothes that fit. His needs were even more basic: food and sex.
The peanut gallery behind us erupted in fits of laughter and the neighbor asked the girls if they knew what they were laughing at. My girls, wise beyond their years, said, "Yeah, it's when your mom and dad are kissing. Duh."
So when my daughter came seeking answers to questions involving actions, um, more advanced shall we say, than kissing, I knew it was time.
The Talk started with a basic anatomy lesson, exchanging our silly words for the real ones. Truthfully, the explanation was easier than I thought, again, probably because my girl's maturity betrays her actual age. :]
Even easier was sharing the why. I told her that (ahem, shall we just say it?) sex was a beautiful thing, a gift invented and given to us by God. Looking into her eyes with boldness and without shame, I warned her that the culture around her would try to convince her that it was something cheap and easy or perhaps even gross and dirty.
Oh, darling, it isn't and it's not.
We talked about how giving yourself to another is the pinnacle of trust and beauty and humility. While others feel disgust or humiliation, the one who has given you the promise of a life spent together will view you in all your glory as the highest honor and ultimate offering. The pleasure found in the arms of your love will take you to a level of confidence and security that you will never before have experienced.
Knowing her body may well respond before her commitment to another allows her the freedom to enjoy this newly understood experience, I told her of how as a young girl I waited with anticipation for that one. Not that one day, or that one stolen night. But that one man who would fulfill my teenage dream and I his, for the rest of our lives together.
After our hugs and her spoken gratitude for not making her feel silly, I recounted our discussion with her papa hours later in bed. As I kissed him one last time before dozing off, I took a moment to soak up all the love and security I have enjoyed every day for the last ten years. Instead of a guilty goodbye or an awkward absence, I knew that tomorrow would be much the same as tonight.
Once again, I would kiss my teenage dream goodnight.