Birds and the Bees, Take Two
Cassie: So you’re studying the human body now in science, huh?
Charlie: (sighing) Yup.
Cassie: What’s the sigh for?
Charlie: I can already see where you’re going.
Cassie: Yea…well…I was wondering if you had the “Birds and the Bees Talk” in class yet. Or, is that fifth grade?
Charlie: (sighing again, more deeply): Fifth grade. Fourth grade is just a discussion of puberty.
Cassie: Yes. What’s puberty?
Charlie: Hair in all sorts of places that I do NOT wish to discuss with you. Girls get periods and breasts. The boys’ voices change. And there’s emotions…all sorts of emotions. I’m really looking forward to it.
Charlie: I do have one question.
Charlie: Does the puberty happen before the birds and the bees part?
Cassie: I’m going to go with a strong “Yes” on that. Puberty first, then a long while after that, the birds and the bees part.
Charlie: I knew it.
Cassie: Good instincts. (Pause) Have you been hearing some other information? About the timing of it all? Because you know puberty happens for each person on a different time frame. It’s very individual.
Charlie: I know that. Blah, blah, blah. (Pause) Sometimes my friends seem to know stuff.
Cassie: Hmmm. Yea. Well. You can always just confirm what you hear out in your world with me…or Dad. Always. Confirm with us and then, you know, you’ll have your facts straight.
Charlie: I know that.
Cassie: Good. Also, when you want them, I have some books about all of this….maybe next year, in fifth grade, you’ll want to take a look?
Charlie: Maybe. (Pause) And the period is so the girls can have babies. Right?
Cassie: Yes. That’s right. But even if a young girl starts to have her period and her body is getting ready to have children, she’s probably nowhere near ready for becoming a parent, you know? All of that can happen much later. The birds and bees part and parenting can happen much, much later.
Charlie: Thank God I’m a boy. Periods….disgusting.
Cassie: It can be a hassle but it’s actually pretty damn amazing that the human body does this….goes through this process of puberty…menstrual cycles….
Charlie: Yea, yea, yea….I’m done talking about it.
Cassie: Okey doke.
(Shivering in disgust, embarrassment, and general discomfort, Charlie The Kid leaves the kitchen.)