What Cha Been Doin’?

It was about three days before our wedding.  Well, three nights before it, to be specific.  John and I were in bed, and my parents, visiting for a few days before the BIG day were in the guest room where they’d already slept for a couple of nights.

I reached over to cuddle my husband-to-be when suddenly, I stopped.

“John,” I said, stupidly in shock.  “My DAD is in the next room!  He knows!”

“Knows what.”

“That we’re sleeping together.”

“Huh?” he said, sleepily.  Then he cracked up.

Naturally, I felt foolish.  How could I not have realized for the previous two nights that Daddy knew I was in bed wish some guy.  I was so embarrassed.  How would I look at Dad in the morning?  He’d know what we’d been doing.  I was shocked.  The fact that I was about to marry that very guy just didn’t matter.  I hadn’t yet.  Nor had I ever acknowledged that, well, I had done it before.  Slept with him.  (John, of course, not Dad.)

I wore off-white.

“Ummmm, Mornin’ Dad.”
(Google Image)

I was equally shocked a couple of weeks ago, but in the opposite way.

That’s when John and I visited our son Jacob at college.  We were chatting in Jacob’s living room when out of the blue, Jacob asked what we knew about sleep apnea.

“Well, it’s where you suddenly stop breathing while you’re sleeping,” I said.

“Why, are you concerned about it?” John asked.

“A little,” replied Jacob.  “’A’ said I did that.  Apparently I snore sometimes.”

“How would she know?” I asked with a slight smile.

“She heard me that night she slept in the guest room at home,” Jacob responded (without missing a beat).  The guest room is across the hall from Jacob’s room.

I felt much better after he said that.  Because there is only one time you should talk with your children about sex.  And it usually happens when your child is just approaching puberty, and always at an awkward time.

Jacob “popped the question” on me when he was about 9 years old.  We were living in Switzerland, and Jacob and I were in downtown Geneva.  We were in the parking lot at Cornavin, the Geneva train station, which was designed by a pillar-loving gnome who had never seen normal sized cars; Jacob and I were chatting as I backed out of a very tight spot.

Then, without so much as a segue, Jacob said “Mom, Harry told me how babies are made, but I don’t think he got it right.”  Somehow I did not hit a post or a pedestrian while explaining sex to my son.

I was even less ready for the more recent conversation.

It was so casual, so ordinary, so normal.

Well, normal except for the fact that I had to admit that my son is a grown up.  And that he has a girlfriend (whom I adore).  And that he was comfortable talking to me and John about the fact that he was once in bed with her.

Because I’m sure it just happened the once.


Filed under Hypocrisy, Politics, Science

67 responses to “What Cha Been Doin’?

  1. I am only now catching up, I loved this cracked me up.

    After my parents were divorced my mother told me the only thing she missed was the sex – – what? why would you tell me this, do I appear as if I want to share these things with you? really?

    My then sixteen year old son told me he and his girlfriend were ‘ready’ to take their relationship to the next level. I was grateful he came to me first. I marched him to the local pharmacy and talked about protection. He choose the condom he wanted with some help from the pharmacist. When it came to check out though he tried to throw them in my basket, what? I don’t need them. He was so embarrassed as I handed them back to him (3 separate times and loudly). He left them at the counter and walked out. He told me later he wasn’t ready, she broke up with him and later that year was preggers by her new boyfriend.

    My now grown children are still embarrassed their parents have sex. Funny that.


    • I was feeling too much outrage, too much frustration. I needed to post something a little bit funny.

      I love the story of your son and the condoms! Hilarious. And I think the fact that the girl ended up pregnant must have made you the most brilliant Mom on the planet.

      Jacob got packets of condoms at various time from me and his dad — he always got/gets them in his Christmas stocking. The first time was quite a shock!


  2. That sly dog! Wow, this brings back memories. I still remember telling my mom about how Mark talked about robots in his sleep one day. And then next thing I know I was telling her about how we fell asleep on a Sunday afternoon watching a movie on the couch when the robot sleep conversation came about. I’m sure I was way less smooth than Jacob.


  3. cooper

    when i was in sixth grade, my dad came into my bedroom for “the talk”. he spent most of the time drawing diagrams on the blackboard. i had no idea what the hell he was talking about. thank god for my friends and hugh hefner…


  4. GOF

    Sex was never discussed in good Methodist households when I was growing up…..I must admit that it did feel just a little uncomfortable when our daughter, in her twenties, brought her boyfriend home from the other side of Australia to spend a week’s holiday with us. ‘Sin’ in a very funny thing with long-lasting influences. 🙂


  5. LOL Are you sure about your son? this post is really funny! Love it!


  6. Why is it so difficult to talk about sex to our parents and our children, when it is the very reason that we and they are here? Another profound example of how difficult it is to be a parent.


  7. JSD

    This is such a funny post! Even being in my late 60s, my boyfriend and my middle-age son both tip-toe around and avoid ever staying over night at my house at the same time. They both, on different occasions, have driven two hours to their respective homes in the middle of the night to avoid making the other one uncomfortable or avoid the appearance of impropriety. Geez…


  8. I’m not ready for this even though my girls are grown. Never will be. And I’m sooooo with you on the “my parents know what I’ve been doing.” Even worse, though, is the thought “you mean MY parents did THAT?” No way.


  9. winsomebella

    Full disclosure with parents is never a good thing 🙂


  10. Interesting how people treat when the shoe is one the other foot. Oh well … why do I think you didn’t have trouble with that conversation! 🙂


    • Well, you pretty much heard the entire conversation! We did joke about how he should be more “shamed” but then we told him to go to the doctor if he thinks it is a real problem. If he thinks it is…


  11. Kids serve as endless reminders that as much as I might think I have things together, they still have the capability to make me sputter.

    Great post!


  12. Harry´s mother

    Harry told Jacob? Harry’s brothers still haven´t got a clue even today, I´m sure, so he couldn’t have heard it from them. I never explained the facts of life to him. I`ve gotta get to the bottom of this mystery.


  13. It’s wonderful you have this type of relationship with your son. What a gift parenthood can be…sometimes.


  14. WordsFallFromMyEyes

    It is great you adore your son’s gf. My gosh, I hope that eventuates for me…


    • Yes, I am lucky. But he’s always had pretty good taste in friends.

      That, and I learned never to criticize a girlfriend from my father who HATED my one “bad” boyfriend and criticized him all the time. So I became fiercely loyal and stayed with the total jerk for much longer than I would have had my father kept quiet. There are some things you just have to find out for yourself.


  15. Running from Hell with El

    I smiled as I read this (and blushed, giggled and groaned some as well) full well knowing what I’m in for. So much of parenthood can be bittersweet, and sometimes the hardest thing is realizing that we’re raising (and have been raised to become) autonomous and not so little human beings . . .complete and separate from us. Sigh. You made me think.


    • It is challenging, especially when you’re passing through that void which is adolescence. But having an adult child has many more advantages than disadvantages. It is so cool having grown up conversations with him. Well, except about sex. But even there, you want to leave the door open for questions. Like about sleep apnea ;0.


  16. So cute! I loved the read and the share… could just picture your expressions 🙂


  17. At least you talked. I know my son must behaving “it” but we never speak of “it.” Sad really. “It” is an interesting topic if you approach it properly. 😉


    • I think it is more that Jacob’s generation is used to putting everything out there — facebook, etc. That and we try not to be too awkward, and always be truthful. It’s still hard, though. Especially admitting that your kid is grown up. I should have been able to figure that one out a while back — he could pretty much grow a beard in 7th grade!


  18. A Table in the Sun

    I didn’t have conversations about sex with my daughters until after the break up of my 25 year marriage to their father. They felt it their obligation to inform me about the dating world. We had lots of girlfriend chats….until I remarried 8 years later. Now the subject is no longer brought up. Ewwww! They don’t want to think about me and a REAL guy, they just wanted to give me tips for fantasy dates. Hah!


    • That’s pretty funny, Table. I imagine their take on the dating game would be different from yours (and mine). It must have been quite interesting.

      Personally, I don’t like thinking about anybody having sex. I generally skip over those parts!


  19. You know, my wife’ family was VERY religious, and yet they were perfectly cool with the two of us sleeping together in their house. We tried it ONCE at my folks’ house – the tension the next morning (even though all we did was sleep – HONEST!) was so dang thick, we spent the rest of the time at a hotel. THAT was okay, for some reason….. (and you wonder how I ended up so screwed up! 😀 )


    • That’s pretty funny John. Where are you in the birth order? My folks had pretty much given up by the time I, the 5th of 5, came along!


      • I was #2 of 2. To me, it felt like I was #4 of 2 a lot of the time, though the parents claim I hit my milestones earlier than my sister did. I think it was my mom being thoroughly convinced Tamy was a gold-digger, out to rob me blind. Pity she didn’t see how well Tamy’s taken care off ME through all this headache BS! 🙂


        • I knew that — sorry. And you had gold? Wow. Had I only known …


          • No apologies necessary. ANd yeah – back in the late 80s, I was LOADED! 😉 I once bought a pen-and-ink piece of artwork, about the size of a postcard, done by a fellow sci-fi fan, for $525 – and that was a FRACTION of what I spent over that weekend alone! It seems I’ve always either had common sense, or money, but only once did I have both – when I moved Tamy up from Dallas! (Hey, even a stopped clock is right twice a day! 😀 )


  20. Pretty smooth on your son’s part I must say.


  21. My son was around 9 when I saw “Bobbies” typed in the address bar. He made it easy for us, if you can’t spell the name of body parts, you’re not old enough to know about them.
    I learned everything from the experts out on the street, so I appreciate having a more pen conversation with my kids.
    Who was the informant Harry?


    • That’s a great rule, Topps. If you can’t spell it, I won’t tell you. Of course, there is spell check which might screw everything up.

      And Harry? Still childless last I heard!


  22. Clinton

    Agreed, my oldest and I have ‘code’ for those awkward ‘where were you last night?’ exchanges. As for the two younger girls we (and I mean my wife) never did the stork thing. We (she) were giving them the dirt from the off. For which I am (especially now) rewarded with a constant stream of awkward moments. My motto is ‘be born a chevy and have chevys.’


    • Awkward moments are so underrated, don’t you think? I imagine we will all survive this, but still — facing parental or children’s umm, other life, is challenging!


  23. I’m not ready to confess…about anything. *snort*


  24. bigsheepcommunications

    So, of course you followed up with a rational discussion of sleep apnea and condoms, right?


  25. Following family tradition, I was already pregnant on my wedding day. But if anyone asks, I wasn’t pregnant the day before.


  26. Having been a teen who knew adults, now being an adult who knows teens, I still think my generation is the only one tht knows anything about sex.

    So how was the next morning with your dad?


    • We are the only ones who know anything about anything, I think.

      My dad was fine — I was the embarrassed one. Of course, had I married the “bad” boyfriend from when I was 19, it would have been different. My father nagged me about until, finally, when I was 42, I said “Dad, I could have married him like my sisters did.” It’s amazing how easy it is to shut someone up with the right line.


  27. That’s nothing. My mom once told me that my dad was good in bed. You wanna talk about TMI….


  28. I’m not ready! I’ll never be ready! (for the conversation with my son, not sex in general.)

    My daughter has already asked me how babies get in a mom’s belly. She’s five. Help me, Elyse!


    • John had agreed that he’d have the sex talk (I was stuck with Santa). And then Jacob popped up with the question at a most inconvenient time.

      My favorite line about babies in bellies is from the movie, Rob Roy:

      Well, how does it get out?
      Same way it got in.


  29. When my husband and I started dating, his father used to call my apartment, rather late at night, looking for him. It was a little awkward. It’s 15 years later so I feel a little better about the situation now. But I’m still not admitting anything. 😉


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