Wednesday, June 18, 2008

my sprout

The other night I was putting Jeremy to bed and he says, "hey, you want to know something?"

"What?" I ask.

"I got hair down there."


"Down there. You know."


"Yeah! You want to see?"

I thought about this for a moment. First, is it appropriate for a 10-year-old boy to ask his mother if she'd like to see his pubes?

In some households, maybe not. But I have never beaten around the bush, so to speak, regarding the birds and the bees. I get right to the point. No cutesy names, like "peach" and "fuzz" and "sprout." Ok, I think I used sprout once.

13-year-old Boo can't stand me seeing him shirtless, let alone show me his pubes. Or even his armpits.

Remy has happily showed me the one hair in his armpit--the one, I guess, that's on an exploratory mission to determine if it's safe for the others to grow there.

But even I was a little taken aback by his question. I'd like to think that most parents harbor a natural curiosity about their children's sexual maturity, and, if they're parents of amply endowed they are.

Or maybe that's just me.

I remember when I was a nursery school volunteer, I had to change this one kid's diaper. The kid had a button penis. I mean, it literally looked like a button and virtually no shaft. It was very odd. I've always thought Remy seemed pretty healthy in that department, and he's not shy about flaunting it. 

So I guess he figured that I'd want to know. Just keeping me informed. As a pubic service. Hardy har.

So I thought about it and it seemed natural to say, "Why, sure." So he pulls his underwear down to display his equipment, and sure enough: a faint little field of dark hair had sprouted around his sprout. 

He waited for a comment.

"Why, so you do, Remy," I said. "How about that? You're growing up!"

"Yeah. Here, check out my armpit. That hair is still there!" He seemed genuinely pleased with himself, not only for growing up, but in doing what I think he felt was his duty to keep me informed of his progress.

He's going to 6th grade in September. My little sprout is leaving the garden.