Saturday, February 25, 2012

Sex Education

"Ahhhhhh! There is blood on the toilet seat!" Joe screamed, running out of the bathroom.

"Oh, shoot, I'm sorry, I have my period and must have had an accident. I'll clean it up."

He looks at me, my baffled 10 year old and says, "you bleed when you have your period? I thought you were just super grumpy."

I'd had the talk about sex and reproduction with Joe, in fact, it's not been a taboo subject in my household at all (as illustrated by my response to his disgust), so I looked back at him - just as baffled - and said "let me explain it again."

I drew the ovaries and the fallopian tubes and the uterus and the vagina and explained how every month an egg is released and travels to the uterus and if it's not fertilized by a sperm it needs to come out an that is a period. Every woman has one. "Some of your friends at school probably already have it. I got mine when I was 9 ...."

"So are you saying that Maia will get her period someday?" he asked.

"Yes." Someday his baby sister would, indeed, get her period.

He responded, "So you're saying you will BOTH have your periods and you will BOTH be super grumpy every month?"

And that is how I knew my boy had become a man.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Just Like That

While cleaning my office this week I came across a story that my son Joe wrote last year. I think it's worth sharing - particularly since he turned 11 last week.

Just Like That
by Joe Kesler

Hi, you'll probably need to know a little bit about me before I tell you my story. Well, I live in Berkeley, CA. I have a dog named Mo, and I'm eight years old. Oh, and my birthday is in nine days. Right now we are picking my grandparents up from the airport. My Grandpa is pretty nice, but likes to play jokes. Once he bought a fart machine and it started making some really nasty sounds! Who knows what he'll whip up this time! My Grandma is sweet, but a little too over protective. She always makes me wear a jacket and is constantly asking if I'm hungry. Oh look, There they are! Time for hugs and kisses!

Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear Joe, happy birthday daaaaay toooo yoooouuuu. Now and forever I'm officially nine.

It's crazy. Just like that. I'm nine. nothing changed. I sat down deep in my own thoughts, not even listening to the whoopee cushion my grandpa had deployed. Just like that. I thought that when I turned nine I would be big and strong and ... You know what? None of that matters, the only thing that matters is that I'm happy! And I am big, I am strong ... in my heart .... Just like that.

Joe on his eleventh birthday.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Letter from Abroad

A good friend of mine has moved (temporarily I hope) to Thailand and he sent me this letter and photograph today. It is charming so I thought I would share it here.

This clan is fixing my first meal of the day pretty much since I moved into this apartment. They run a little street kitchen about a half block from my place. The lady on right makes the coffee, the two on the left do the cooking, and the guy waits the tables, or rather, the one table.

It has taken me five days to get through to them what I want.  The first day I ate there I saw them serve a basil chicken over rice with a beaten and fried egg on the side.  I wasn't fast enough to point to it and say, I want that.  The first time I tried to order it I got fried rice with egg and chicken all mixed together.  The second day I got them to keep the egg separate but It wasn't scrambled.  The third day I got the egg separate and scrambled but still the fried rice. Finally, today I got the scrambled egg on the side with plain rice and basil chicken on top.  Fortunately it has all been tasty.  

When I asked if I could take their picture today they were really happy to oblige.  Only the coffee lady seemed a little shy, perhaps uncertain that I wanted her in the photo. But when I waved her over she lit up and jumped right in with the others.