How's this for a lunch-time conversation with your kid - one of my 9-year-old sons asked me a question about the birds and the bees, and I got through the topic without having passed out on the kitchen floor. That's a good thing, right?
And we weren't even talking about anything that had to do with anything about ... well ... you know ... anything.
Honest, we were sitting at the kitchen table ... I was making lunch for my sons when Vincent blurts out "How do you make a baby?"
The first thing that crossed my mind was that it must be a free HBO weekend on DirecTV and he must have come across a Sharon Stone movie from the 1990s. But the free movie weekend didn't start until the next day, and 9-year-olds today don't know who Sharon Stone is, in fact, I might say 19-year-old boys don't know who she is anymore, but that's another column.
My wife, Ann Marie, was not home so the "Go ask your mother" reply could not be put into action. Besides, she says the boys are my territory since she handled the conversation with my daughters when they were growing up.
This is a conversation I never had with my father, at any age, growing up on Dutch Hill. Going to a parochial school my entire life, sex education did not take place until high school at Bishop Guilfoyle, where I got to learn about such things from two priests, a biology teacher named Mr. Seemiller, and none other than my ninth-grade health teacher, a guy named Mr. Franco.
That's right, nothing like learning information on THAT! from your brother, who was like "The Fonz" to me growing up. The last thing I wanted to learn from him was ... THAT! We were better off waiting for free movie previews on cable TV, and just praying that mom and dad went out on Saturday night during an R-rated movie marathon.
You really couldn't go to my father with a "How do you make a baby?" question either, especially when he was watching back-to-back episodes of "Cannon" and "Barnaby Jones" on a nightly basis. And you certainly weren't going to get any good information from those two programs. Maybe, if he were a fan of "Charlie's Angels" or "The Love Boat," I might have had a chance.
But I digress.
The first thing I told my son was that you had to be married to make a baby. I stressed this point over and over, hoping that he would become bored with my morality play, and he did somewhat. I told him a husband and a wife have to get together to make a baby - emphasizing the get-together part without getting graphic, but I am Italian. I can't help it. I talk with my hands. It's a curse. However, his eyes got as big as the satellite dish on my house. His reaction? He ran down the hall, looking for his brother, yelling "Dominic, wait until you hear this!"
My 17-year-old daughter, Maggie, quietly entered the kitchen after eavesdropping from the living room. "Where did that come from?" she asked. My thought ... I don't know, but I hope it goes away and doesn't return until they turn 13 during a free movie weekend with Showtime and Cinemax!
Scott Franco can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 946-7528.