/, Thoughts from Julie Cross/getting The Talk: Win a signed copy of TEMPEST!

Those of you that don’t know me and haven’t read the About Me section on this blog (look up), I have three kids and my oldest is in middle school this year. For the past few months, I’ve been contemplating (and denying) the fact that eventually I’m gonna have to have “the talk” with him.

Yeah, that talk.

I know, right?

Just thinking about it makes my palms sweaty and the right words and the wrong words jumble in my head. To get some practice and feedback on this blog topic, I consulted The Perfect 10, my amazing teen panel and we had a pretty good email discussion on this particular topic. It’s quite possible they’re more mature about this subject than I am.

I couldn’t even type the S-E-X word and I found myself using the phrase “birds and bees” and this was quickly followed by Perfect 10 member, Monica saying, “birds and bees? Never heard of it?”

And though I’ve heard this phrase many times, I couldn’t remember where it came from and why it was used in an almost cliche way for years. So, of course, I consulted Google for this answer:

“Birds and bees is usually used in reference to teaching someone, often a young child, about sex and pregnancy. The phrase is evocative of the metaphors and euphemisms often used to avoid speaking openly and technically about the subject.”

Omg…this is exactly what I needed! Openly is bad enough, but technically…I can’t even imagine. Anyway, as I read on I found a glitch in this method. Here’s the problem with the Birds and the Bees:

“According to tradition, the birds and the bees is a metaphorical story sometimes told to children in an attempt to explain the mechanics and good consequences of sexual intercourse through reference to easily observed natural events. For instance, bees carry and deposit pollen into flowers, a visible and easy-to-explain example of male fertilization. Another example, birds lay eggs, a similarly visible and easy-to-explain example of female ovulation.”

So, yeah…I’m just not seeing how I can tell this story and a kid is gonna understand how human babies are made. Maybe the problem lies in the fact that I have no memory of having this talk with an adult in my life. I mean, I figured it out eventually…but even if someone has the worst, most humiliating talk with an adult at least they know what not to do or say. I got nothing.

Wait…I take that back…I did have some education. By the time I was 6 years old I had every word to every song in the movie Grease 2 memorized, including this song:

Despite my enjoyment of this movie, I will not be showing this video to my children as a substitute for “the talk.”  So, for this week’s contest, ending Friday, March 23 at midnight (CDT) to win a signed copy of Tempest (yes to International!) all you have to do is comment on this post and please, please tell me a great story if you have one about your personal experience receiving “the talk.” I really, really need to laugh about this!

I will toss all names into a hat and draw a winner on Sunday, March 25 and announce on the blog that morning. If you are a winner, email me your address Juliecross1 (at) live (dot) com.

Oh…and I have to end on a funny note…my favorite part of the discussion with The Perfect 10 was one member quoting her father’s simple one-sentence talk:

“No balloons, no party.”

Who comes up with this stuff? It’s genius.


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  1. Rachel Bohlin March 17, 2012 at 7:16 pm - Reply

    Lol my Dad's a doctor, so he sat me down at SIX YEARS OLD, and told me about it. No Birds and bees talk, no dumbed down version. It was a very traumatizing experience at the time, but now when I look back, I find it hilarious.

  2. Susan Light March 17, 2012 at 7:19 pm - Reply

    I wish I had got the talk! My mom took me to the library and got me a book. But with 3 kids of my own, 6 and 4 yo twins, I guess we are going to have to have a group discussion in a few years. I can wait for that one!

  3. Holly March 17, 2012 at 7:25 pm - Reply

    My mom had "the talk" with me when I first started going through puberty, it was pretty cut and dry about female reproduction. It got really awkward when she pulled out her giant medical book and showed me the diagrams.

    Then when I started eighth grade we took health class which is commonly known as Sex Ed. They made the class split in half, boys in one room, girls in another and we watch "the video". After watching it, the class was dead silent and everyone was completely embarrassed looking down at their desks. Boys and girls didn't even look at each other for the rest of the class period.

    I wish you tons of luck explaining it to your son!

  4. Adriana C March 17, 2012 at 7:43 pm - Reply

    Sadly I did´t had "the talk" from my mom; my mom gave me a book(that my aunt gave her, that she used with her daughter, a really old book my cousin is 13 years older than me) to read and after reading it, I could ask her questions. Ohh, but she did want to have "the talk" when I was like 18 years old and dating more seriously.
    At school I had classes about reproduction, but mainly my best friend at the time told me about it.

  5. Julie March 17, 2012 at 7:46 pm - Reply


    Was it the Miracle Of Life movie? The one that ends with baby being delivered?

  6. abstractelf March 17, 2012 at 7:46 pm - Reply

    I got "The Talk" when I was 7 just before I started school. We were on a vacation and while we were swimming, she stopped me and said that we need to talk.
    Just like in the movies… I thought I was in trouble (I can clearly remember how scared I got).
    Then mom told me to look at that couple which was a few metres away from us. Then she said that what they're doing is not healthy and started to explain how a healthy and proper "sexual intercourse" should occur. I didn't have a chance to imagine it with bees and birds and other animals, I got the facts (okay, not everything but it was enough for a few years…)

  7. Julie March 17, 2012 at 7:50 pm - Reply

    wow…what kind of beach was this?

  8. Carl March 17, 2012 at 8:37 pm - Reply

    Hey Julie, I was in the same boat as you, no talk from nobody. But I was a clever and resourceful young fella. Every time I heard a word or an allusion I wasn't familiar with I hit the library and cracked the encyclopedias or grabbed the giant dictionary. Yeah, I was too young to legitimately get into the adult section of the library but after a while the librarians got used to seeing me in there and just left me alone to mt research. I ended up doing the explaining to a bunch of my buddies who never figured out the best place to get an education was in those stacks.

  9. Willinda March 17, 2012 at 9:30 pm - Reply

    It´s kind of funny but I actually think that my parents never gave me "the talk"! lol We just had some of these talks at school with teachers, but I never had with my parents.
    I just remember my mothers tries to hide my eyes during scenes in movies with it but nothing at all.
    I guess I had to found it out on my own… =D

  10. PickyReaderGirl March 17, 2012 at 9:35 pm - Reply

    When I was young my mother, who is a nurse, gave my girl scout troop one of the many "talks". I just remember her having us cut out uteruses from sheets of paper to show us how big a uterus was when you were born and how big it will be when you are an adult. I just remember how MORTIFYING it was to hold up these cut-out uteruses! I guess I should just be glad we didn't do the male reproductive tract!

  11. Nicole March 17, 2012 at 9:42 pm - Reply

    Oh dear. My mum gave me a 'it's reproduction and very natural but you shouldn't do it until you're much much older' talk (AS DID MY DAD. IT WAS NOT COOL) and used highly advanced medical terminology that I did NOT understand at age nine.

    And now, a few years later, I still don't understand why she did it so early. Anyway, best of luck!

  12. Holly March 18, 2012 at 1:10 am - Reply

    I don't think that was the title, but it's been ten years since I've seen it.

  13. Elyssa March 18, 2012 at 1:53 am - Reply

    My mum told me nothing. She left 'the talk' come from the school. The boys went in one class, girls in the other, and our lesson consisted of watching some weird animations about 'what happens in the bedroom' and our teacher showed us how a tampon worked by sticking it in her tea. That's British education for you (:
    Good luck on 'the talk'!

  14. May March 18, 2012 at 3:36 am - Reply

    Actually my mom never really gave me the Talk. She just gave me a brief overview of it all, mainly because I already had an idea of it all, and let the school SexEd classes handle the rest, lol. Good Luck!

  15. Baggins March 18, 2012 at 4:11 am - Reply

    I never got 'the talk' from my parents…and I count myself pretty lucky, because I can just imagine how my parents would have handled it – Mum with too much information, and Dad completely uncomfortable!! 😉 Honestly, I truly can't remember learning about sex. I'd say I pretty much learnt everything through books and movies, and kids at school. My parents never applied censorship rules when I was a kid, so I grew up watching R18+ movies for example. I remember being 10 and wanting something to read so my Mum gave me Lord of the Night by Connie Mason and Amber Flame by Hannah Howell, full of all the steamy sex scenes you expect from those kinds of historical romance books. So I guess I just sort of picked it up? I do remember that by the time my school gave us a sex ed class when I was 12, I pretty much knew the basics. I tell you what, however it happened, I'm glad it never became an uncomfortable or embarrasing moment!! 😀 So I have no advice to offer, unfortunately. But good luck!

  16. poisongrl March 18, 2012 at 1:01 pm - Reply

    Im glad to say no one ever gave me 'the talk'. After middle school I figure my parents assumed I knew- we had to take a slip home about sex ed in grade 9- but they never mentioned anything. Up until I was about 13 my mom hated for me to see anything sexual in the movies, but in contrast I was given complete free range in books. I dont feel like I was robbed of anything by this lack of the talk and I'm glad they let me decide how best to use and interpret information regarding something so personal.

  17. Gisele Alv March 18, 2012 at 7:48 pm - Reply

    Oh my… I remember the first time I ask my father something related to sex, he was like a fish out of water, he start babbling about stuff and them he told me he didnt knew what I was talking about… I just only ask him if 'wet dreams' where a fairy tale or something? I was 8 years old! LOL! I was so naive! After that and some years later my mom was the one who give us the 'talk' to my sister and me!

  18. Rachel March 18, 2012 at 7:54 pm - Reply

    I don't remember when my parents talked to me about what sex was, but I remember when they had to tell me what the word virgin meant.

    I was in 4th grade and a male classmate was going around asking all the girls if they were virgins. I refused to answer since I didn't know the word, which meant I was teased by him. Then I went and asked the teacher what the word meant. The poor darling was so upset we were both sent to the principal's office. Later that night my mom explained: a virgin is someone who has not yet had sex. So, yes, you are a virgin.

  19. Hannah March 18, 2012 at 10:20 pm - Reply

    thats kind of how it happened for me too! in 5th grade the boys and the girls split and went into different rooms to watch the girl or boy video on puberty. Afterwards the teacher just talked about how it was natural or something. They didn't teach us how to use tampons sadly lol. As a 10 year old it didn't really make since.

  20. Kimberly Sabatini March 19, 2012 at 12:16 am - Reply

    First of all I think I should win because I knew all the words to ALL the Grease 2 songs. *fist pump!!! I mean…hangs head in shame*

    While I don't have a great story of my own–I recently had that talk with my 11 year old. He was trapped in a car with me for a significant amount of time and the topic just kind of came up. After I explained everything I needed to–I asked if he had any questions. He responded…"So, what you're saying is–this all happens without pants on?????"

    I will never ever forget that one. LOL!

  21. Serena Knight March 19, 2012 at 12:48 am - Reply

    I didn't exactly have a talk with my parents. It is more like I had a talk with my mom, explaining everything because she was so shaky and nervous about having the talk with me. My mother practically fainted when I started to explain everything to her. I found it to be very amusing! Never going to forget that 🙂

  22. Esther March 19, 2012 at 1:08 am - Reply

    My mom gave me the talk a few days before my class had "the talk" in 5th grade. She trapped me in the van on the highway…Not cool. She has kept up this tardition and has recently trapped my little brother in the van to give him the talk too. A few weeks ago in now my 8th grade class, we had to watch "The Miracle of Life" video (my teacher skipped the actual footage of the woman giving birth-THANK YOU!) but the girls and boys didn't get split up to watch the rest of the movie or for the class lessons…most akward, silent filled hours EVER.

  23. Mark Brassington March 19, 2012 at 1:21 am - Reply

    Hi Julie,

    Even at thirty I still have a weak stomach, through school and college life I would struggle with things like Aids Day, police talks on drugs and even the days of school were we get our jabs. I did faint a few times and it became well known through school.

    So before all of that happened I was about 11 or 12 when my Dad decided it was time to give me the talk. My parents have always owned a caravan down on the south coast of England and every year it needs to be packed up for the winter. So one year my Dad tells me that he will take me back on my own and my Mum will be taking my brothers and sister which I remember thinking was a little strange but didn't argue, half way through the journey Dad starts giving me every gory details of the birds and the bees, the thing with my Dad has always been when you ask him a question he doesn't just give you the answer he likes to give you the 200 years of back story of that answer. This is what I got on the birds and the bees – I got everything. I found out things that my fragile belly didn't need to hear about how a man and womans body worked. It was then at 70mph on the motorway that all I could see was red and we had to pull of to the side of the road so I could be sick. Luckily I wasn't sick and I got back in the car to Dad promising that he wouldn't continue which last ten minutes before he then carried on. I had to beg him to leave it as I understood what he was talking about and I no longer needed the biology lesson.

    I am the oldest of four so whenever the "talk" was given to my siblings they learnt of the time I was sick from the "talk" and find it all very amusing.


  24. lorrainecastro March 19, 2012 at 7:20 pm - Reply

    By the time my parents had the talk with me, it was because I got my period. I was 11 1/2 and my younger cousin Cindy had already told me everything when I eleven. I know we all freak out to find out or parents do "that". I just read the little pamphlet my parents gave me and shuddered when they said, "Now be sure to ask us about anything you don't understand." Right!

  25. ZombieChick! March 19, 2012 at 8:09 pm - Reply

    Whne I had 'the talk' I was stuck in the car for 2 hours so I had to listen, and answer wierd questions. Plus mysisters were there, it was really embarrssing. Now everytime I leave the house my mum says, "No Sex, NoDrugs and No Boys, got it?". Its kind of funny.

  26. Airaseem March 19, 2012 at 11:27 pm - Reply

    Yeah the talk is a big deal but I havent heard it yet and I already know what it's about but I know I'm to young for sex and before I do it I want to get married you know better plan safe than sorry

  27. abstractelf March 21, 2012 at 12:13 am - Reply

    It happened on Balaton and I still wonder how they got the idea when there were/are so many people there.

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