This week’s Sex Blog Roundup at Fleshbot gets happy with the bloggers who search out the silver linings. When life sends them lemons, these folks don’t just make lemonade—they squeeze those lemons dry, child.
Those of you who enjoy stalking me will find Lily wandering my bohemian love pad to find she’s no longer the new kid at the orgy; she’s become a regular.
Speaking of silver linings, the weather in New York has turned cloudy and chill. Just as my kids were getting excited about wearing shorts and t-shirts to school, the mercury drops and they are back to jeans and long sleeves.
It makes us all grouchy.
This morning, as I prepared lunches for school, Jason came into the kitchen in his boxers.
“Dad, Collie’s wearing my pants and he won’t give them back.”
I cut a sandwich into two triangles. “Why is your brother wearing your pants, handsome?”
He rolled his eyes and threw up his hands. “I don’t know! It’s so infuriating.”
“Well, keep it together.” I sipped my coffee. “I’ll talk to him.”
I found Collie fully dressed and watching ESPN. Jason’s jeans were bunched around his ankles. “Collie, what’s up with you wearing your brother’s pants?”
He stared at the screen. “I have to. My pants don’t fit.”
I picked his cast-off jeans from the floor. “These pants that fit last week don’t fit this week?”
“Dad.” His tone was irritable, edged with the portent of tears. “They are too short. They show my socks when I sit down and that makes me look stupid.”
“Aw, no, man, that means they are ‘floods.’ And floods rock.”
“Dad . . .”
I shrugged. “It was worth a try. But listen, honey man, you need to give back your brother’s pants . . .”
“He can wear shorts!” His eyes started to well.
“Honey, no one can wear shorts today. It’s too cold.”
“So he can be cold! He can get sick, I don’t care. I don’t care if he dies!” He began to cry.
I looked at the clock. Seven eighteen. We needed to be out the door in half an hour.
I sat next to him. I draped an arm behind his back. He pulled away. “I know you are frustrated that you are outgrowing your pants. It’s all a part of growing up. You’ve grown so much this year.”
“And next September, when we go shopping for new school clothes, you’ll be amazed at how much bigger you are than now.”
He smiled, just a little, before catching himself.
“But for right now, you need to let Jason wear his own clothes . . .”
“But Dad . . .”
“ . . . and you should wear your own. Soon we’ll be back in shorts and you won’t have to worry about your ankles showing. Your entire leg will be showing!”
He didn’t like it. But Jason soon had his pants, and we made it to school on time.
He remembered to pack his homework from last night. For his health class, he had to interview a parent (or, rather, a “trusted adult”) about puberty.
We sat on the couch as he read questions from a worksheet.
“Okay, so, Dad,” he began, shifting to his authorial voice. “When did you first notice that you were in puberty?”
I thought of masturbating in my parents’ bathtub, looking at my mother’s Cosmopolitan magazines. I thought I had invented something I called “fake fucking.” I debated telling my friends about it at school.
“I was in sixth grade,” I told my fifth grader.
He pondered that. “Okay. So how did you know you were in puberty?”
I knew when I developed a crush on my left palm.
“I noticed I had hair under my armpits and on my private parts. My voice cracked a lot. And my feet grew very fast.”
He looked at my feet. “Could you see them grow?”
“No, no,” I smiled. “But over the course of one summer, I outgrew all my shoes.”
“Oh, okay.” He returned to his page. “What were the good things about puberty?”
Jerking off. Letting my red-haired neighbor Susie look at my hard cock. Jerking off while thinking of Susie looking at my hard cock.
“I was glad that it was a sign that I was growing up. And I liked that my body was suddenly growing so fast.”
“Yeah, that’s cool,” he said, dangling his feet over the couch. “Okay, last question: how did you handle the tough parts about puberty?”
By jerking off. Oh wait, that was the previous question.
I thought I should use this as a teaching moment.
“Well, if something seemed difficult or confusing, I always knew I could talk to my Mom or Dad.” I paused, feeling a little guilty about lying. I countered with candor. “Sometimes, though, I felt there were things I couldn’t talk about with anyone, like maybe they were too private or too weird. So I kept it inside. Looking back, I realize that that was a mistake.” I patted his leg. “Lucky you, you have a Dad and a Mom who will listen to anything you have to say. And you have an older brother who is going through some of the same things. So you should never feel ashamed about your feelings or your body. You can always talk to us.”
Collie looked down at his paper. “Yeah, I know.” He handed me the page. “Can you sign this to show I interviewed you?”
“Sure, honey man.”
“And will you help me with my math homework?”
I hate helping with his math homework; it requires my full concentration at a time of day when my mind is running to dinner and the work I will do after the kids are in bed. But of course I agreed to help.
School can’t end soon enough. The weather needs to lift. We need Summer to arrive.
I need to survive the school year without buying another round of blue jeans.