Recently, my going-to-be-fourteen-in-a-few-weeks daughter asked me “When did you lose your virginity?”
Imagine my life as a sitcom; this would be the perfect opportunity for a spit take. But, since we were sitting in the car outside the liquor store (the seediest one in town, no less) waiting for her dad, I did my usual—-stall. With 9-year-old daughter also in the car, I said, “can we talk about this later?”
So, more than a week later, I’m still waiting for her to raise the issue again. But I’m still not sure how—or if—I will answer. I’m all for open communication with my daughters, but I’m not sure that open communication means I have to share everything I’ve done and when. Is there a way to tell her this answer is currently off limits without keeping her from asking other questions?
(As I’m writing this, I’m listening to “I can hear the bells” from the new Hairspray soundtrack where Tracy sings “Won’t go all the way, but I’ll go pretty far.” Since I bought this for the girls last weekend, they’ve been listening to it nonstop, in the car, on the stereo, and downloaded on all three (ooops, 4 now) iPods. So, I’m allowing them to watch, listen to, and read material that is saturated in teen sex–so why am I suddenly squeamish?)
Am I being hopelessly old fashioned and retro with my unwillingness to answer this question? Or am I needlessly turning myself inside out considering what is “right” to do when I should just go ahead and follow my instincts?
I don’t know why I never even considered being asked this question before. I suppose I could have told her “my wedding night” or “about nine months before you were born” and made a joke of it. I want all my girls to be prepared for all that may come their way. I just don’t know that means I have to be honest to the point of discomfort. I guess I envision a day when we can talk about these issues as peers—as women—and I’m just not sure how to be in this conversation with her right now. I just know that if she’s asking, I need to be in SOME conversation with her, right?
Oh, help me mamas. Help me!