You know they're growing up when its time for the 'ole Birds and Bees Talk. Yep, that Birds and Bees talk.
Last Week, Bryan and I attended a "Maturation" class, sponsored by the elementary school.
In the past, we have taught the children some of the general concepts about where babies come from, without going into explicit detail.
(Bee Pollinating a Passion Flower)
However, we wanted to be the first to tell our children about this topic. We didn't want Bryan to hear it first from ill-informed friends on the playground, the school, the NEA, Planned Parenthood, NARAL, or any other group with a political agenda.
How one uses his or her powers of procreation has much to do with the degree of success and happiness one will experience in life, - both in this life, and in the world to come.
So on the day BEFORE the maturation class, Bryan and I decided to go have a little talk of our own.
We had our family home evening, as usual. Then after family prayer, Bryan and I went out for a drive to the International Airport.
We found a secluded spot near the airport runways where we could have an uninterrupted chat, and watch the airliners take off, and land.
Above all, I wanted to stress the sanctity and holiness associated with the process of bringing children into this world, and how it is an important part of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
I began by talking to Bryan about the Plan of Salvation, and how obtaining physical bodies is an essential element of Our Heavenly Father's Plan. Without obtaining physical bodies, we could not progress in our goal to return to, and one-day to become like our Father in Heaven.
I then discussed with Bryan how Heavenly Father has shared with us his power of creation - the ability to create mortal bodies in which to clothe his spirit children. Within each of us, male and female, He has given the seeds of life. This ability to procreate comes with strong urges and desires to induce us to take on the responsibilities of parenthood, and to ensure that His spirit children will have the opportunity to receive physical bodies.
From the time of the Garden of Eden God has commanded that this sacred power of creation be used only within the bonds of marriage. Any use, or abuse, of this power outside the bonds of marriage (between a man and a woman) is strictly forbidden by God. Only those who properly safeguard and use this power in this life, will have the power to exercise this power in the world to come.
Some of the greatest happiness and fulfillment we can have in this life stems from righteously bringing children into the world, and raising them up in unto the Lord. Although it is a challenging responsibility, with many ups and downs, joys and disappointments, nonetheless; it causes us to stretch and grow in many ways, and come to understand more about our Heavenly Father and his purposes.
On the other hand, using these powers of creation against the commandments and counsel of God, can bring upon us some of the greatest misery and ruin that can be experienced in this life. From the possibility of contracting a sexually transmitted disease, to an unintended pregnancy. There are great consequences associated with conceiving and bearing a child out of wedlock, both for the parents, and the unborn child, and society as a whole as well. Quality of life is diminished for both the child and the parents (especially the mother).
Heavenly Father is wise to command us to wait until we are married to use this power, and to bring children into the world at the proper time in our lives, and under the best of circumstances. A child has a right to both a mother and a father, who love each other, who are committed to family life, and who are married to each other. This provides a great deal of stability in the child's life. The parents are also more mature, and better prepared to raise and nurture a child.
Bryan and I then discussed the changes that were about to come into his life - both the physical and emotional changes that he will experience as he moves from childhood into adolescence.
We discussed male plumbing and anatomy, what the various parts are and what they do.
We also discussed female maturation changes, and the accompanying female plumbing and anatomy.
Then we discussed the delicate topic of just how the male seed is introduced to the female seed, and how conception takes place, and life begins. We discussed the gestation process, and how birth takes place. Now he truly knows where babies come from - most of the time, at least. In Bryan's case it was by C-Section, which I also explained.
Now that he knows about the respective male and female plumbing and anatomy, and how conception and birth takes place, we then spent a good deal of time on the rules - or the Moral Code. We discussed the importance of keeping ones self morally clean, with an eye toward future goals of going on a mission, and a temple marriage. We discussed the peace, confidence, and protection that one can feel as they save themselves for marriage.
I asked Bryan what things he had heard about this topic either from school or from friends. I was mildly surprised to hear that some of his schoolmates had been in the habit using sexual terms as epithets. He has long known of the "F-word", now he knows what it really means. Bryan also mentioned that he had hear the words "Gay" and "Lesbian" at school, and wanted to know what they meant. I explained what those terms mean as well. We discussed how inappropriate obscene and vulgar words are, given the sacredness of the power of creation. I helped Bryan see that the power that knowledge and being well-informed can give him. With the knowledge he now has, he can better combat the evil influences that are around him, and not be deceived.
Overall, we were gone for about 2 1/2 hours - a little longer than I had expected. I felt like it was a good bonding experience between Bryan and Me.
The next night we went to the Maturation Class at the school. I had found that we had pretty much covered everything that the school covered. The presenter used an overhead projector, with some simple illustrations that helped Bryan better understand the plumbing and anatomical aspects of the subject matter. The school brought in a guest speaker, a former elementary school principal, who did a wonderful job presenting the subject matter. Bryan did great during the presentation. Due to our little chat the night before, there was nothing in the presentation that caught him by surprise.
On the other hand, there was a young man sitting in the row ahead of us, who was not so prepared for the information presented. This young man found parts of the presentation more than he could endure - He covered his ears with his hands, shrugged his shoulders, shut his eyes and bowed his head. For him, there was just way toooo much information all at once. I'm sure this has as much to do with this young man's overall maturity, as well as perhaps not being prepared in advance for what was to come.
I was glad that Bryan was well-prepared, and able to receive everything so well.
I decided to sent Bryan's principal an email with my feedback about the maturation class. Here is the text of the email that I sent the next day:
I just wanted to give you a little feedback on the boys maturation
class last night.
I attended with my son, Bryan, and found the class to be really well-done.
Mr. Newman did a wonderful job. Everything was done in very good
taste, and with proper respect for moral values and standards as
well. I appreciated his use of appropriate humor as well, which
helped to put everyone at ease.
This is a very good program, and I can see why you have wisely taken
advantage of Mr. Newman's services in making this presentation.
I feel fortunate to live in an area where this most important topic was dealt with in such a sensitive and respectful way. Kudos to the principal for choosing the right presenter.
It remains to be seen in later years as Bryan receives further school instruction and "sex education" if this pattern of good taste, decency, and a respect for family values and moral principles will continue. I hope it does.
As for me, I feel good about the rapport and communication that Bryan and I were able to establish with one another. I intend to meet with Bryan one-on-one on a regular basis to re-visit this topic, and any social pressures that he may be feeling.
Communication lines have been established, and I want to keep them open during the critical years to come.