My mother and I were on the way to my tap dancing recital. We didn’t know then about my inability to dance. I was hog-tied into taking the class because my mother and my bbf’s mother decided that both us tomboys needed a good, hard dose of femininity and fast.
I had heard some older girls at the dance studio talking about the birds and the bees and it raised a few questions in my mind. “Mom, what’s all this stuff about the birds and bees? I don’t see the similarities. I’m certain that it’s a euphemism for something else. But I don’t get it.”
This was one of those moments when my mother thought perhaps the hospital had given her the wrong baby. I had learned long ago to recognize the look on her face.
She hemmed and hawed and must have been considering her options. Evidently, she decided now was the time to have “The Talk.”
While she was deciding how to approach the subject I’d moved on. “And why do girls grow hair down there?” I pointed at my pre-pubescent crotch.
She hemmed and hawed again. “Well, a long, long time ago people didn’t have toilet facilities so they went pee outside. So we have hair down there to keep the sticks out.”
“Sticks? Would that include grass and other woodsy things?”
When I got hair down there I was going to test her hypothesis. By now I had realized the lack of veracity when it came to adults. “Now, back to the birds and bees.”
My mother sighed. She’d already figured my tangent hadn’t waylaid the question, rather it was a segue. “Well, you know the puppies next door…”
“Yes, the five Huskies.”
“Well, you see the daddy dog puts his magic stick into the mommy dog and then the babies come.”
“You mean if I get a stick in my vagina I’ll get five babies? I had no idea sticks were so powerful.”
“Just stay away from all sticks until you’re married.”
“But what about the birds and the bees? Should I stay away from them too?”
Luckily for my mother we’d arrived at the dance studio.
“You know, I can’t dance. So if you get embarrassed by all means wait for me outside.”
“All right.” Evidently the question and answer session had zapped all her energy.
“Break a leg,” she said.
“Why would I want to do that? Are the others dancers going to do that if I mess up?”
My mother sighed. “Never mind. I think I need some alone time.”
I did mess up the recital and my mother did wait out in the car. I really couldn’t blame her. But the other girls didn’t break my leg so I figured my mother did tell the truth on that one.
The other stuff I’d have to research. The Encyclopedia Britannica would certainly have a better explanation. I decided to test my mother’s knowledge with another question, “What’s an orgasm?”