Blogs Are Stupid

Doesn't anyone believe in Dear Diary anymore? What happened to the joy of putting actual pen to paper? And why does every ordinary Jane and John think they can write well enough to burden the world with their scribblings? It’s a mystery that badly needs solving. My first entry contains my thoughts about blogging and will set your expectations. The rest will probably be stream of consciousness garbage, much like you’ll find on any other blog. Perhaps we will both come away enlightened.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

An Ugly Truth

Pre-Pubescent One turned 12 yesterday. He had an impromptu sleep over in lieu of the concert he was supposed to attend, which was rescheduled for sometime in June.

I spent the evening keeping Diminutive One out of his brother's hair having quality time with Diminutive One. Being the oldest of three, I understand not wanting younger siblings underfoot, but I also felt his sadness and hurt at being excluded. At 11:30, we were passing the time until midnight, the hour that Diminutive One had bargained for as bedtime, by watching Full House reruns, when a Public Service Announcement about internet predators aired.

Jamie, in her distinctive voice, stated some statistic about how many children had been "sexually solicited" online.

Diminutive One listened and then turned to me with puzzlement written on his freckled face.

"I don't get it." he said.

"You don't know what a sexual predator is?" I asked. We had talked about this before, so I was unsure of what, exactly, he was questioning.

"No. I know what that is. But I don't know what is sexually so...so...whatever she said."

I glanced at husband, who shrugged, and then nodded slightly to indicate that there is no time like 11:30 at night, when we are both stupid with fatigue, to have a heavy discussion with our son about people who would use an object that heretore had been completely innocuous and known only to him as an instrument of fun and entertainment to stalk, molest, and possibly murder him.

But if there's one thing we've learned, its that when an opportunity presents itself, we have to take advantage of it. There's no good way to broach such a subject out of a clear blue sky. And unless they're truly inclined to listen, there's really no point.

I took a deep breathe and let it out, trying to be inconspicuous about it.

I guess he realized we were about to get into something fairly unpleasant, so he held up his hands as if warding off a pysical blow, and said, "But I don't really need to know."

"Yes, I think you do." I said gently. "You already know about people who want to have sex with kids, right?"

He made a moue of distaste with his perfect little mouth and wrinkled his snub nose. "Yes."

"Well..." I began....

And then we talked about all the ways in which a predator might "solicit" him online. How they might lie and manipulate and disguise themselves. How they might try to find out where he lives and then come here. As in previous discussions, I spared no detail. It's an ugly truth, but one he needs to know.

Later as we prepared for bed, he asked if he could sleep with me and I agreed. In the bed, he got as close to me as he possibly could, all but lying on top of me as I read.

At last I turned off the light and we both laid (lay, lie?) there not sleeping. We listened to each other breathing for a while and then he spoke...

"Mom? Do kids always have to move out when they're 18?"

"Nope."

"Oh. K. Goodnight."

He rolled over, his plump behind smushed damply against my lower back, and fell promptly into sleep with the complete abandon that only children can manage.

And I...I laid there, listening to 12 year old boys play video games and talk about girls and thinking about how goddamned short 18 years really is.

16 Comments:

  • At 5:53 PM, Blogger mamatulip said…

    Yes, when moments like that come up you do need to jump on them. I love how, after talking to you about that, he wanted to sleep with you.

    And I never know whether to say lay, lie or laid either. Ever.

     
  • At 6:33 PM, Anonymous mrsfortune said…

    Wow, I just have to say I am so glad I've got a couple years before I have to start those types of discussions. But by then I'm sure there will be myriad other ways which people devise to take advantage of children. I think we'll just move to a monastery next week ...

     
  • At 8:11 PM, Blogger Oh, The Joys said…

    Aw, C. Don't you wish we could protect them forever and ever?

     
  • At 9:49 PM, Blogger Mamma said…

    Oh that was such a beautiful snapshot of life.

     
  • At 10:48 PM, Blogger jen said…

    damn if you didn't handle that perfectly.

    i'll file this one away for when it's my turn.

     
  • At 1:32 AM, Blogger luckyzmom said…

    When my children were that age there wasn't any internet(at least not in our home). Now though I worry about my grandkids and my SIL assured me that there are programs you can get to protect your kids.

    You are a fine brave woman for tackling the situation openly and right away.

     
  • At 9:17 AM, Blogger jchevais said…

    There is a French ad campaign that is really good on the subject.

    Posters like these (http://lili-prune.mabulle.com/images/lili-prune.mabulle.com/action-innocence-fille.jpg) are plastered all over France.

    The campaign slogan says: A pseudo can hide anyone.

    The first time I saw one of these posters, it scared me. Truly.

     
  • At 9:40 AM, Blogger nina said…

    This was wonderful BA.

     
  • At 9:58 AM, Blogger Her Bad Mother said…

    Such a difficult topic, so well handled.

    And - lay. I always struggle with these, too.

     
  • At 10:09 AM, Blogger WI Mommy said…

    A true parenting moment - handled with grace and finese. (And what an understanding mom you are to keep younger brother occupied for the evening!)

     
  • At 10:35 AM, Anonymous AA said…

    Everyday I think about how fast it goes.

    Can we homeschool for college? (I don't even homeschool now!)

     
  • At 11:09 AM, Blogger Kirdy said…

    We just had the a refresher "stranger danger" talk with Cman. It was hard enough explaining it to a six year old who doesn't need to know details. I can't imagine how hard that must have been for you. Nice job!

     
  • At 11:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I now officially LOVE your blog.
    Mary Istvan

     
  • At 4:11 PM, Blogger Christine said…

    Ugh, the parenting thing can be so...heartwrenchingly scary at times.

    My 8 year-old likes to sleep in my bed sometimes also. I think sometimes they know that they are growing up too fast.

     
  • At 7:54 PM, Blogger Code Yellow Mom said…

    Right on the money! This is a great example of how talking straight with a child actually opens a door, and shying away from "ugly truths" makes them turn to someone else for answers and security. I'd not only rather have them hear it from me, but it is a bonus that hearing it straight up from a parent makes them love and trust that parent more.

    Terrific post.

     
  • At 2:53 AM, Blogger amber. said…

    Your story made me like my kid again.

    Thank you.

     

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