Yesterday I took aunty Maya (now eight) to Charly’s Bakery for a cupcake (her) and petit four (me). Charly’s is full of quirky and colourful eats, and on this day, there were swear words on the petits fours. Maya is pretty savvy and smart, but when she asked me what one of the words meant, I said I wouldn’t tell her, and that she must ask her mom and dad. I didn’t want to be the one to “enlighten” her on derogatory four-letter words but I’m beginning to think that maybe honesty from my side would have been better – after all, Maya is going to find the answer out anyway.
Which gets me thinking about what I will do when you start asking me about how you were made, what sex is, and what various four-letter words mean. Will I answer you as honestly as I can, will I shrug it off, or will I ask you to go ask your dad or Google or Bing it?
When I was a child, I used the World Book, volume “S” to read up about sex, and I had What Every Girl Should Know bought for me so I could learn “everything I needed to learn” (my older brother had a similar version, What Every Boy Should Know, which I read too). I never understood swear words, though I got punished when I wrote “F*%$” on our blackboard at home. Who knew it was a bad word?
I’m hoping I can answer you appropriately and honestly when the time comes, and someone please slap me if I tell you that the stork delivered you to Sandton Medi-Clinic.
Yours in hopeful honesty,
PS: I’m loving spending time with my siblings in Cape Town – you have awesome uncles and aunt here. I miss them a lot. Another reminder that you don’t often know what you’ve got until it’s gone…
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