The Joy(?) of Sex Education — 2
The years pass. Daughter is now fourteen, and yes, she does have an understanding of how life perpetuates itself. Mother and daughter have had their sex talk. Daughter and girlfriends also share secrets learned from other siblings and other young but worldly experts.
Her mother counsels her on the consequences of sex. Forget love! Sex is connected with sin, Hell and damnation. Daughter remembers Arlene and her terrible day, knowing she harbors a forever secret. She cares too much for Arlene to ever risk getting her in trouble.
There are many more subjects to corner the market of her mind. She is given to creating mental lists now, cogitating on them and arranging them in the order of importance.
- Driving the car
3. Perfect hair
4. Best friends — who’s in and who’s out.
5. Zits — OMG!
Oh, where is sex on this list? The stars do not align themselves in perfect order for her to worry about that word.
However, Mother is very much aware of the subject and feels the best way to teach abstinence is by talking about “those who have strayed,” or better yet — pontificate on its consequences. She becomes the conduit of information on how these consequences have ruined lives, caused family embarrassment and given God a reason to withdraw his favor. The daughter is savvy enough to get the gist of her mother’s rants and how they always manifest themselves when someone in high school has to……Blah,Blah,Blah. (Queue the violins)
Mother decides to execute a never to be forgotten lesson. ‘Daughter, you drive and we’ll visit a family I’m helping. It’s a long trip — good practice for you. We’ll call it our First Road Trip.” She knows daughter will jump on the chance to drive.
Today, driving through the country, both of them are enjoying each other’s company. Mother and teen can be at odds quite often as the daughter pushes her boundaries. Mother has forgotten her time of doing this.
They finally arrive at a farm house. It is a large old home, want of paint, lawn care and trash removal. Daughter navigates the dirt driveway, not sure which is worse, the house or the barn. She casts a quizzical look towards her mom wondering what they are doing here. The mom comes clean (to a point), explaining that as school nurse and also a county health nurse, she needs to check on this family. She helps the kids with clothing and school supplies. Now it’s summer. How are they doing? Also, she wants their mother to consider going to the university hospital to have her baby, not at home as before.
When the school age kids see her, they run up with hugs. The daughter notices how shabbily they are dressed, clothes torn and dirty, no shoes. The dad comes out of the house wanting to know why they have come. He is very tall, bearded and badly in need of a hair cut that could alter his beastly monster look. He wears coveralls and does have shoes, albeit, covered with what looks like barn-yard dung. Daughter takes a step back. Mother stands up to him and tells him the reason for their visit. Daughter thinks she should be afraid, but Mother is his equal, not wavering from the purpose of her visit. She will do her duty.
He grunts and points the way to the front door, continuing to walk to the barn. As the entourage enters, there is a gasp from the daughter. She sees a home with little furniture, torn curtains and measurable dirt everywhere. She thinks, “This is what poverty looks like.”
Mother hugs the young woman sitting in the rocking chair and asks how she feels. She remarks how well she looks. Daughter thinks, “Well — now I know she’s nuts! How could this person look well?” She quickly does a list of things wrong:
- Torn dress and very pregnant
- No shoes and very swollen feet
- Hair long, black and hanging in very greasy strings
- Missing Teeth
Daughter thinks, “How can my mom even touch her?”
The pregnant woman smiles and invites them to sit down, saying it won’t be long before this baby comes. Mother, the nurse, kneels down and takes her hand. She soon starts talking in a soothing informative voice about all the advantages of having this baby in a hospital. She explains the details of the travel to the hospital and the supporting care offered by the county nurses. More details will follow after this pregnant mom gives her okay. This is the first time the daughter sees her mother in a nursing mode, and is very impressed. She also makes a mental note to never consider the nursing profession.
With a bang, the screen door opens and the dad runs into the house, yelling about a pig choking in the barn. Could the nurse come and help him? Her nursing antenna goes up and she runs after him, glancing back at the daughter saying, “Stay in the house. Keep the kids with you. Don’t you (pointing to the pregnant mom) come either.” Daughter is not going to follow them into a dark and dirty old barn — this is not part of the driving deal she signed onto.
From the barn comes the sound of a squealing pig. The kids huddle close to their mom. Daughter sits on the floor observing all of them and now knows the reason for the offer of this road trip. This is another lesson on the consequences of sex — three children and another soon coming.
The mother is very shy and continues rocking, “How old you be?”
Offering her age and not able to resist, Daughter asks, “How old are you?”
“I be twenty-four this October,” and shares the names and ages of her kids.
“OMG!” the daughter blurts out and tries to cover her gaff by saying, “You have a lovely family.”
The mother continues to smile and rock. The daughter feels the sting of embarrassment, regretting the outburst. She would never purposely hurt anyone — especially this poor soul. Where is her mother? The children ask the daughter to play a game, and she’s grateful for the chance to redeem herself.
When the mother returns, acting as if she saved choking pigs everyday, she continues counseling on the advantages of this proposed plan. The visit ends with the promise of a return and getting everything in order for the birthing time. The young mother struggles to her feet, hugging both of them. The children also share hugs with their guests. Daughter fears the dad will return and he, too, will want a hug. She says her good-byes and runs to the car.
Sitting there, waiting, she begins to work on a new list of teen mantras:
- Never get married.
- Never have kids.
- Never live on a farm.
- Never eat pork again.
- Wash hair.
- Wash everything.
- Say NO to another road trip.
As they drive towards home, the mother looks at the daughter and starts in on the consequences of sex — stops and reconsiders, saying, “Thank you for going with me. I’m glad we could help this family.”
The daughter sighs, lets go of her madness and thinks, “I am so lucky!”
Stay tuned for another lesson — this time the daughter, now a mom and her son.
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