I know what you are thinking. You are thinking, What on Earth is Elizabeth thinking talking about sex on her blog?! Well, it isn't exactly about sex. It's more about what my daughter thought sex was.
Imagine my horror when I heard my sweet, beautiful, innocent daughter who was playing in her room, say "they are having sex." WHAT???!!! I jumped up and practically ran into her room to investigate.
How could my five year old even know that word, much less what it meant?!
I didn't want to storm in with ferocity and scare her, so I took a deep breath to calm myself before taking on the challenge of the conversation I feared we might have. I wasn't ready for "the talk" just yet with her. In my eyes, she's still my baby.
As I entered her room, my eyes scanned over her toys. I was looking for any sign that she may or may not know the intimacy that word carries for adults. There she sat among her stuffed animals. She had them lined up beside each other except for two. Her giraffe and her brother's elephant were set in front of all the others as if putting on a play. I watched her as she had the two hug and kiss each other.
Then, I asked what she was doing. She gave me the sweetest smile as she told me the tale of how giraffe and elephant, though very different from each other, had fallen in love. They just got married in front of all their friends (hence the animals lined up facing the two). She smiled again before saying the very words that sent me to her room in the first place, "They're having sex." She said it so matter of fact as if it were a common, everyday sort of thing.
"Caitlin," I began, "where did you hear this word." Well, she couldn't recall where she had first heard the word, but she could answer my next question. "Do you know what this word means?" I asked praying she would just say "no" and that would be the end of it.
Instead, she looked up at me with her gorgeous blue eyes, batted her lashes, and flashed me her sweetest grin ever before replying, "Of course I do. Zach told me."
My breath caught in my chest. I had once told Zach, her older brother about sex (I will recount this story at a later time for you). I thought I made it clear he wasn't to tell his sister about it. I was still holding my breath. "What do you think sex means? What did Zach tell you?" I asked.
She made her animals hug each other again as she answered, "It means they love each other."
I resumed my breathing. "What else does it mean?" I pressed.
"It means they get married and love each other. That's what Zach said. They hug and kiss and spend time together. You know like you and Daddy do lots of stuff together? Well, that's what it means." She smiled as she recounted her vision of what she thought it meant.
I smiled down at my innocent (thank goodness) daughter as I brushed her hair from her eyes. "That is exactly what it means...they love each other. Do me a favor." I asked. "Can you use the word 'love' instead of sex for now on for me, please?"
Well, it seems even a five year old can know the meaning behind sex (or what it should mean anyway)--love--without knowing the details.