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Wednesday, January 25, 2006 

Oh joy! (part 2)

I guess the follow-up post on Saturday's conversation with the nephew is overdue. Despite the tricky nature of the subject, it went remarkably well and much better than I expected. He’s a good kid and we get along fine .Of course I had him helping me clean up the garage first, while I contemplated the all-important next move. Help in breeching the subject came from an unexpected source… television. I was all set on using KN’s amusing, yet unorthodox approach when television provided the all-important opening. We were watching an Australian Open women’s singles match when he commented on their muscular forearms. Hehehe… figure the hormonal teenager to notice all the finer details of competitive women’s tennis. Me: Yeah, I hear vigorous exercising of a particular muscle group can do that to you. He giggled: Is that why your mouth is so big? From putting your foot in it? Me (Laughing out loud): Keep that up and you’ll be following in my footsteps. But since you hardly ever exercise, I reckon you aren’t in danger if that ever happening to you. Although your mom mentioned that you have been getting a lot of forearm action lately. [All out laughter. He throws his hands up in the air and covers his face.] He: I guess it is all out in the open then? Mom spoke to you, didn’t she? I had a hunch she may talk to you about that. I’m just glad that she did not take it upon herself to talk to me. Our last conversation about sex is something I never want to do again… ever. Me: You know your mom does the best she can, but I share your sentiments. She can be a bit over the top. He: I knew I should’ve locked my door. Me: Next time try the bathroom (more laughter). To be honest, I was quietly amazed at how calmly he approached the whole thing. No theatrics, to denial. Cocky (excuse the pun) little bastard! He: I am embarrassed, but I am not going to lie to you. My buddies and I talk about what we do all time. Discovering that our penises (he used another word) are much more than something you pee with, is kind of a big deal. There is quite a bit of forearm action going on. Me: I understand. You know of course that you don’t have to beat it death in one go. It may not seem like it now, but there is a lot more to becoming a man than being sexually active. (Awkward silence) I did not want to break it to him that the ongoing fascination with sex and his penis would last for quite a long time. Come to think of it, men never really get over it. What followed was a long and candid discussion on the subject. I‘m not going to go into detail. It is amazing how much kids learn from other kids. When you put all of their bits and pieces together, the truth is basically in there somewhere. Television, cinema, MTV and magazines pretty much demystified what was once a forbidden subject. It took me back to my own adolescent days when sex was pretty much all my mates and I talked about. We had us a good laugh at the myths surrounding sex and masturbation. He was actually much more concerned about how he should act around girls. What should he talk to them about. When is it ok to ask a girl out and to kiss her. Believe me, whipping it out and getting naked with a girl is not the most important thing on their minds. It may get to that stage soon enough, but right now it is all wishful thinking. In reality, 13 year olds aren’t comfortable enough with their own sexuality to jump to the next level. I tried to make him understand that I realise there is a lot of pressure from his mates to do certain things. Hanging out at the mall, smoking, drinking, doing drugs… and getting a girl. He should not feel compelled to do anything he does not feel comfortable with. Doing what he knows is right and acting responsibly is far more important. There is lots of time to grow up and become a man. It is ok for him to still be a boy… and kicking my ass in a game of Tekken 5 (A martial arts combat game for PS2). I got off easy, I think. He is more mature than I give him credit for. Growing up without a father can do that to you. I’d also like to think my status as the “cool uncle” made it easer for him to talk openly. I can only hope that I will have the same open relationship with my own kids one day. Yeah rght!

Nice one Chitty. Sounds like you did a good job.

Moonflake: You blew my porno approach right out of the water, so I had to do it the respectable way. :)

What an excellent uncle you are! And yes, you will probably have a good relationship with your own kids when/if you have them. Honesty mixed with humor and love--great combination.

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