I have an 8-year old son which means those innocent goggly years are almost past us. He's become a sports-loving, sometimes sassy talking, electronics-totting kid! I love him just the way he is, but part of who he is means he's suddenly being exposed to so much more than Barney and Sesame Street videos.
Just the other day, he was googling "funny football photos" on a censored search engine which is meant to block inappropriate content and women playing football in lingerie popped up on his screen. One woman was actually yanking off another woman's undies. I tried not to react, but he looked at me tentatively as if we both knew this was awkward. However, awkward isn't bad.
These things will become more and more a part of his life and my husband and I have begun accepting this change. In that moment, my son asked, "is this flag football?" I answered, "sort of" as I clicked to the next image. I followed up with "it's definitely barely dressed women playing football" and then we laughed as the moment passed.
Today he and his friend were talking about a dictionary and kept pronouncing it "DICK-tion-ary!" I didn't hear the exchange, but there they were two third grade boys just cracking up when my husband chimed in, "it's okay to joke around, but please don't repeat inappropriate words in front of your little sister." I asked my son to tell me about the inappropriate word. He was reluctant, but again I didn't react in any particular good or bad way. It was a subtle, go ahead share nudge from his momma urging him to share. He finally felt comfortable sharing the expression with me and I reminded him it was pretty inappropriate since dick means penis. To which he shockingly replied, "it does?!?!" Almost as if he didn't know. I mean he had to know, right? Why else would kids chant DICCCKK-tion-ary. Either way, I said yes, not very appropriate to say that in the presense of little sisters or at the dinner table. He then agreed.
Once again, the moment passed just as I felt the little sting of parenting that reminds me puberty is around the corner and my son will soon be exposed to the less than innocent parts of life. It's reality and so long as the hubby and I guide him, open-mindedly, trying not to judge things as good or bad, I sure hope he'll always feel comfortable to bring his awkward questions to us and remember to live as morally as we've raised him to.