So I really screwed up this time. At least school has embraced them again for another term and I have three months to work out just where I went wrong. I had only the best of intentions. Children today have so much pressure put on them. Summer should be about long, lazy, carefree days spent in the back garden inventing games, playing with Jack, the Jack Russell, and learning the value of being bored. I would work uninterrupted in my studio stopping only to produce fabulous food for our picnics.
The reality of our summer was perhaps best embodied in the horrified screams of First Born, as he looked in the bathroom mirror one morning in late July to find that, while he slept, Second Born had shaved off his left eyebrow. I was interrupted EVERY five minutes by a complaint or request from some family member, and we relied on takeaways, or my mother’s kindness, because with 100% humidity and temperatures in the 30s no one wanted to be anywhere but in a sealed, air-conditioned room.
In the midst of this great heat we moved house. The Husband has moved us to Lower Estate in the parish of St. Michael.
“At least it’s not called Lowest Estate.” he grinned.
The road leading to the house is owned and “maintained” by the local quarry. An average sized car can fit neatly into any one of the numerous potholes you might drop into on your way to our new residence. The house itself is nothing special but for the first time in nineteen months we have a physical space to project our hopes and dreams of what it means to be finally home. For the twins it means separation into their own rooms for the first time.
They turned eight in August, my babies did. Apparently this is now the time to begin giving them The Talk. But before I could do the appropriate research, buy the relevant books, and produce the accompanying power point presentation, First Born dropped a bomb. We were lying on my bed, air con on full blast, when he broke the silence.
“I know what sex is.” he said.
I looked up slowly and calmly.
“Really darling? What is it?”
With complete self-assurance he replied, “Well it’s kissing for a long, long time. Like one whole day of kissing”
“Nah. Doesn’t sound right to me. Go ask your father.”
“Nah. I don’t want to.”
Yes that was the entire extent of The Talk. There has been no follow up but I know time is not on my side. Unless I talk soon someone might invite him to skip the lecture and go straight for a practical lesson. My friend in the UK, Emma, can vouch for this.
Emma has a fourteen year old who boards at his co-ed school during the week and makes the hour-long train journey back home every Friday evening. At some time last term this young man was the (we assume happy) recipient of oral sex by a bonny lass in his class. But the lass had decided to, eh, swallow, and later, education being what it is today, became terribly worried that this was one of the ways you can end up a teenage pregnancy statistic. So she told a grown-up. And that grown-up told the principal. And the principal hauled Romeo and Juliet into his office. He then demanded that the lovers call the head of the Montagues and the Capulets, explaining they had had oral sex, which broke every law in the land, and the parents should seek an audience with the principal forthwith.
So while Emma was driving along the motorway her mobile rang. It was Romeo.
“Mom. It’s me. You have to come to school.”
“What’s the matter dear? Are you okay?”
“I’ve had a blow job and principal says you have to come in.”
“What? I can’t hear you.”
“Mom I got a blow job.”
“You got a job? Where?”
“Mom, please. I’m in the principal’s office cause I got a blow job.”
“The principal’s got you a job? Look darling I still can’t hear you properly. Call me back in five minutes. I’m dying to know about this job.”
Poor Romeo. It took three further calls before his mother understood the exact nature of the job in question. After the young lovers had been warned of the consequences of any further encounters they were sent them home for the rest of the day to think on their actions. I don’t know what Emma said to her boy but maybe it was along the lines of Friar Laurence’s advice to the original Romeo,
These violent delights have violent ends
And in their triumph die, like fire and powder,
Which as they kiss consume: the sweetest honey
Is loathsome in his own deliciousness
And in the taste confounds the appetite
It does not bear thinking of the hang-ups this young man might have about sex in the future. Will he lament that love is not a tender thing, “too rough, too rude, too boisterous, and it pricks like a thorn”? One thing is certain – I owe First and Second Born that power point presentation before half term.