Arm Pit Hair to Wet Dreams: Talking About Puberty with My Son

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I read posts like last week's "I Wasn't Planned" and this great post by new guest writer Bridget Mason at Ollie Bop and I want to put bricks on my sons' heads. Not because I think that talking about sex, puberty and all that goes with it is gross or wrong or any of that... but because it feels like such an enormous responsibility. I don't want to mess it up!

Thankfully, other parents have shared their journeys with these topics, and I think we can all benefit from their stories. Bridget shares a recent discussion prompted by a pamphlet at the pediatrician's office. It quickly went from arm pit hair to wet dreams. Whew!

She shares:

Puberty“Can we read this?” he says.

“Now?” I ask.

“Yeah. Let’s go upstairs, on your bed, and read it.”
I hook my arm over his shoulder and off we go. I am trying to match his easy manner. But I’m not ready for this. He might weigh more than me now, but he’s still my baby. We continue the climb and we stretch out on the bed, our heads are together as we read, “A lot of changes happen as you grow up, especially as you reach puberty (say: pyoo-ber-tee)…”

He reads it aloud; I answer his questions. He’s unabashedly curious and completely open. We talk about changes that will occur – his voice deepening, hair sprouting, body parts growing. Ben lifts his arm and proudly points to his armpit. “I’m gettin’ some pit hair. Oh yeah,” he boasts, with a head swivel and a finger point. I can’t see any hair, but it is a perfect segue into talking about deodorant.

We’re both sitting up now. I had just fielded, and bobbled, a question on “vas deferens” and Ben was moving on to sperm travel and erections. “The pamphlet mentions something called wet dreams,” he says, “what are those?” "Oh boy. Okay. We’re getting technical,” I say.

Dictionary series - puberty photo via Shutterstock.

Read more from Say "Pyoo-ber-tee" -- One Mom's Talk of The Talk at Ollie Bop

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