the neighbors were having a (very loud) bachelor party the other night. the boys couldn't sleep through the noise and they were curious about the wild ruckus. spying from their bedroom window, the boys spotted a pinata of a naked woman.
i cannot deny their growing fascination with such displays. from the time they could toddle around the park, they'd find the girl with the shortest shorts and follow her like sad, little puppies.
lately i've caught iggy and the four-year-old girl i watch mooning each other. safety, respect, and privacy have become my most redundant lecture topics. i can honestly say that i wasn't ready to start teaching my boys about some of this stuff.
me: what do you think about that pinata? is it appropriate?
me: is it respectful to women?
iggy: why do those guys get to look at it, then?
me: you can't pick what other people choose to look at. but you can control yourself. that stuff will be all around you through your life and you're going to have to learn to look away.
we talk anatomy constantly. they want to know exactly how babies get out of tummies. they want to know why little boys and little girls have the same chests but boys show theirs and girls can't. the answers lead to more questions. when do girls change and why? do boys change, too?
these clinical discussions can feel a little awkward. how much should i tell them? duke and i want to keep this dialogue open so i avoid thwarting their attempts to reach out. diagramming their bodies is awkward but helping them with their emotions about bodies can be plain painful.
me: it's not that nakedness is bad or wicked. our bodies are wonderful. Heavenly Father wants us to be thankful and proud of our bodies. we just need to be respectful and reverent about them.
sparky: it's hard.
me: what's hard? (silence) not to look at those things?
me: have you ever seen any pictures of girls in their underwear?
iggy: super hero girls wear underwear and they have very big boobies.
me: you're right. did you know that when your daddy and i are watching a movie and a girl with immodest clothes comes on daddy covers his eyes or turns his head away?
me: he does it out of respect for me. because he only loves me that way and i'm the only girl he wants to see that way. when you grow up you will each find a girl. you'll love her so much and she'll love you, just like mom and dad love each other. after you are married, you will see her body and she will be beautiful.
i'm sure every parent approaches this sensitive topic differently. some children seem more oblivious than others, but mine definitely aren't. their world is saturated with sexuality, despite our many protective efforts. their young feelings of attraction are very real and i am learning to help them to bridle their passions.
i love that they've rewritten this song to be "all the pretty girls at the saturday market." they sing it constantly. they really like girls. and that's okay, so long as they respect them.