It was 7 AM Saturday and the four of us had been driving for 3 hours already. We had gotten up at 3:30 AM for a 4 AM departure to Cape Cod. My son and daughter were awake playing some games on their phones while my wife slowly woke up.
We were in Rhode Island when she shook off the last tendrils of sleep. She commented to me about wanting to stop at a French pastry shop on the Cape and I estimated that we’d be there just after it opened.
Everyone was in a good mood and the sun was shining. We were on Day 1 of our vacation and looked forward to a week-long adventure of biking, swimming, fishing, and exploring beautiful Cape Cod and the surrounding areas.
My daughter had asked me a while back if we were “poly” to which I replied, “yes, we’re polynomials!”
When we got onto Route 6, the final leg of the journey, my son asks for a family meeting. He’s been working on his Boy Scout Family Life merit badge and needed to hold a family meeting to discuss topics about drug abuse, finances, puberty, and sex.
I realized at that moment, in the car, that this would be the perfect time to talk about these subjects. Car rides are awesome for approaching difficult subjects with your spouse, lover, children, or parents. You have a captive audience and awkward eye contact - at least for the driver - is at a minimum.
My wife and I are on the same page when it comes to money, the earning of it, the management of it, and the investing of it. She’s better than me at managing & budgeting it whereas I’m better at investing it. We’ve decided that she handle the bills and I handle the investments. It’s been working out great for many years now.
My wife and I are mostly on the same page when it comes to sex education for our kids.
My son asked us about how much money he would need to live one day. My daughter asked me what a good career means. We explained that it’s best for both of them to be financially secure and not be a burden on other people. That doesn’t mean that in times of need you shouldn’t ask for help but you should not depend on another person to live.
This of course led to a discussion about the role of money in marriage. My daughter had asked me a while back if we were “poly” to which I replied, “yes, we’re polynomials!” I know that’s a bad math joke but I’m a nerd, what can I say?
After all, who doesn’t like post-coital bliss, cuddling, and spooning?
However, she’s learning about different romantic partnerships and needed to understand that the best life & romantic organizations (marriages, polycules, etc) work only if the partners are financially stable.
This doesn’t mean each member of the relationship needs to be rich, it just means stable and in control of their financial destiny.
The reality is that in today’s economic system you will need money to survive and depending on your level of education, career choice, and the life you want to lead you will need “X” amount of money to live and you will earn “Y” amount. If Y > X, then save (or invest) the rest.
This topic, among the four of us, was lively and both my son and daughter thanked my wife and me for it.
Looking back, I thought the sex talk would be harder but in retrospect, it was the easiest. My wife and I are mostly on the same page when it comes to sex education for our kids. We like to give them as much information and explain it till things are clear.
The difference between us is that I tend to be more liberal-minded and she tends to be more conservative. However, we all know that sex happens and it’s better to prepare the youngun’s for it now than later.
When my daughter was 14 I told her that puberty can be a confusing time and that she’ll start getting interested in sex and that my door is always open to talk. She already had the ‘period’ talk in school and with my wife but I wasn’t sure where she was with the topic of sex.
Over the past two years, she’s approached me indirectly about topics like birth control and what boys are interested in her. I know that all her questions aren’t satisfied yet BUT I’m so damn lucky that she feels comfortable enough to talk to me about it.
I learned in horror how many of my female college friends were subjected to rape and non-consenting sex.
So when my son turned 14 I gently approached the subject of sex. My son has a very stoic personality but just like with my daughter, I told him that the door was always open to talk to me about the changes he’s going through and to answer any questions he had.
So when this topic came up in the car, my wife and I pounced.
Before I begin, my readers should know that I treat sex as something very personal and special. For me, it’s a deep emotional connection, even spiritual at times. I don’t just rush into bed with someone.
I can count on one hand the number of sexual partners I had. That’s not meant to brag, scold, or shame, it’s just me. Your mileage will vary and that’s OK.
I need to have the ‘feels’ first and I crave to bond. I’m like a low valence element, looking to make a strong bond with someone first. After all, who doesn’t like post-coital bliss, cuddling, and spooning? It's even better when your partner feels the same way.
On a side note, thank you Nature for the gift of sex, orgasms, and oxycontin!
...“don’t get a girl pregnant.”
That’s what I told my children, what sex means to me. The importance of it as a bonding agent, why - for me - being in a healthy relationship with their Mom is important to us and our well-being.
We talked about the topic of consent, why it's important for both men and women.
We talked about relationships, straight, and LGTBQ.
We talked about how easy it is to get pregnant and why birth control is important to family planning and, of course, general use.
While we didn’t get into any specific mechanics of insert Tab A into Slot B, we had a wonderful and open discussion about these key topics of life.
I love my parents. They did the best they could with my sister and me, and I thank them for the life they gave me. They raised us the way they were raised, during a simpler time. A time when women ran the house and men worked. A time when labor was divided and not egalitarian at all.
I’m not a perfect man. I never will claim to be, but I want to do better.
The extent of my sex education I got from my mother was “don’t get a girl pregnant.” From my father I got, “watch out a girl might try to lure you into bed.”
So much of my life up till a few years ago was trial and error, trying to shine a light into the darkness of my hidden path of life. If only my parents had this frank type of talk with me, perhaps my life would’ve been different.
I look back at how many of my friends or acquaintances got married too young and for the wrong reasons. I learned in horror how many of my female college friends were subjected to rape and non-consenting sex.
I know couples that got pregnant too soon and now fight all the time. Over 50% of my friends are divorced now. All this chaos and unhappiness because, I believe, that they never had these frank discussions with their parents.
I’m not a perfect man. I never will claim to be, but I want to do better. I want to do better for my children and give them a more powerful light to illuminate the hidden path that will become their life. Hopefully a happy, healthy, and fulfilling one.