It was the summer of 2011. We were visiting friends in North Carolina one weekend for a lovely wedding on the beach. Our strong-willed, opinionated and hyper-inquisitive children, a boy and two girls, were, at the time, 10, 7 and 6 respectively. My gorgeous, though Chicago-tough and Sicilian-sassy, wife and I were at lunch with the kids at a little seaside café the following day. A late morning ocean breeze puffed through the eatery’s open bay windows, filling our nostrils with that salty pong of damp sand and faint sea life, forecasting a beautiful day ahead.
We were discussing the wedding ceremony from the previous day. The blushing bride, a delightful young woman, happened to be about eight months pregnant and, to my knowledge, had not been the beneficiary of a second immaculate conception.
As the tsunami bursts forth from still waters without warning, our youngest daughter’s face abruptly took on an air of contemplative curiosity. She looked to me and asked, “Dad, how can she (the bride) already have a baby in her tummy if they’re not married yet?”
I became as a squid in my chair, squirming during the awkward silence that followed and finally responded, “God wants mommies and daddies to wait until they’re married before they start having babies, but sometimes people forget that and start early and then get married later.”
I sat back in my chair, satisfied that I had successfully evacuated “hurricane sex talk,” until our older daughter hit me with the follow-up lightning bolt: “But what about,” she began, “but how do the babies get in the mommy’s tummy in the first place?”
The room began to spin as I was overcome by a sense of utter horror and dread. My wife started laughing and said, “This one’s on you, honey!”
I then spent the next two minutes or so hemming and hawing as I explained to all three children – each transfixed by my words – in as forthright, clinical and age-appropriate a way as humanly possible, exactly “how babies get in their mommies’ tummies.”
When I finished, the children sat in stunned silence, a look of shock and disgust on each of their divine, innocent, cherub-like faces. All at once, and with justice most poetic, three precious little heads wheeled toward my wife. “Mommy, you did THAT?” demanded our youngest with absolute indignation and disbelief.
To which her older sister added, “Three times!?”
Parents, be warned. If it has yet to happen, your day, too, will come. You will, at one time or another, as surly as dawns death and Obama tax hikes, be forced to have “that talk” with your little ones.
Matt Barber is founder and editor-in chief of BarbWire.com. He is an author, columnist, cultural analyst and an attorney concentrating in constitutional law. Having retired as an undefeated heavyweight professional boxer, Matt has taken his fight from the ring to the culture war. (Follow Matt on Twitter: @jmattbarber).
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