The other night, it was a lesson in sexual reproduction. OK, not really a lesson. More of a 2-minute “shit, I can’t believe she’s asking about this now” kind of lesson.

Tonight, it was “Mom, when did your boobs start popping out?” Crap. Here we go again. “When I was about 12 or 13. And they didn’t pop out all at once. At first, they were little sprouts.” Giggles. And when I told her that my entire family, including her Uncle James and my dad, accompanied me to the department store to buy my first bra, she was beside herself laughing.

I think it’s time to consider calling in reinforcements if these queries continue. In the form of “Where Did I Come From?” by Peter Mayle (of “A Year in Provence” fame), the quintessential illustrated guide to puberty. I’ll never forget the day my mother lovingly (I’m being sarcastic – she was simply trying to avoid ‘the talk’) purchased this classic for me. We were in a bookstore in Ithaca, NY (yes, land of the 1960s radical hippies) when my aunt (who was sort of a 1960s radical hippie herself – no offense, Aunt Barbara!) saw the book and strongly encouraged my mom to get it for me. As it turned out, that was probably not an unwise piece of advice because during that Ithaca trip one of the 1960s radical hippies in town told me that my daughter was very adorable. I was about 12 years old, holding the hand of my very young cousin.
So, in addition to learning more than I wanted to know about menstruation in Sex Ed in 5th grade, I now had The Guide. The Guide’s most memorable illustration was that of a pubescent boy standing on a diving board with an erection. Scandalous. I studied that book from cover to cover for a very long time.