Read Cindy's bio and previous columns
November 19, 2007
For My Son’s First
Romantic Experience, No School-Issued Condoms Please
My son has recently started paying attention to babies. He stares at
them, and you can just see his little mind whirring. Who are these tiny
creatures? They can’t walk. Can’t scoot a truck across the floor. Why do
they just sit there, doing nothing? What is their point?
It’s forced me to admit that he is no longer a baby. He’s a full-blown
toddler. Next thing I know, he’ll be starting preschool. Then real
school. And not long after, he’s sure to have his very first romance.
When I was in early elementary school, romance was a foreign concept.
Today, they’re talking about providing contraceptives to 11-year-olds.
Times have changed, and even though my son isn’t two yet, I’m starting
to freak out a little.
My own early forays into relationships were comical – with no
remember the first time a boy decided he liked me. I was in the first
grade, and he chased me around the playground trying to kiss me. Today,
of course, my parents would have sued him, his parents and the school
for allowing such harassment. Back then, no one even noticed. Until he
caught me. He planted a kiss right on my cheek, and I did what any
logical six-year-old would do.
went crying to the teacher and told her I was pregnant.
She was perplexed. I thought to myself, “Well, she isn’t married so she
wouldn’t understand that when people kiss, they get pregnant and have
babies.” I had to explain this to her. To this day, I do not know how
she managed to keep a straight face. She was about 50 years old then,
and my guess is that she’s shared this same story quite a few times
herself over the past 29 years. Straight face not likely intact.
My early misunderstandings about sexual relationships behind me, my
first boyfriend became so after leaving a note in my school supplies box
saying he liked me. I was in sixth grade, and I was smitten. After all,
he had risked going to the principal’s office for me by sneaking into
the classroom during our lunch hour to put the note in there.
We rode our bikes together on the weekends, climbed trees and walked
home from school. No doubt it was love.
One day, we got brave and carved our initials underneath the jungle gym,
declaring our undying love for each other to the world. Nearly a year
later (yes, a whole year), I think we finally kissed. And I assure you,
it was only one step less innocent than what my son does now,
which is throw trucks at the people he likes.
Again, the theme being – contraceptives? At age 11? I simply cannot
As sweet as that relationship was, it ended when we went to high school.
We were all older, but still, there was a sense of innocence in how my
friends and I approached love. Take your typical Friday night for
example. We used to sit by the radio, listen to the dedication shows,
and try calling their 1-800 numbers to dedicate Richard Marx, Air Supply
or some similar cheesiness over the airwaves.
Of course, I was insanely jealous the night when my best friend’s
boyfriend actually got through. We distinctly heard that the song was,
“To Kelly from Matt,” and it never occurred to us there were actually
other couples in the Cleveland metro area named Kelly and Matt. She was
devastated when she thanked him, and found he had no clue what she was
It was grounds for a break-up.
The list of cute stories goes on and on, and I guess my motivation for
relating them here needs to be so that I can forget about them. After
all, that that was then and this is now.
In today’s world, I can only hope that my son’s first gesture of
affection to his fourth-grade crush isn’t a condom that he got from the
school nurse, delivered to her classroom, followed by a text message,
reciprocated via an explicit posting on his MySpace page.
I’d really rather he put some graffiti on the jungle gym.
© 2007 North Star Writers
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