>"Oh my God" is one of those phrases that requires context. In some settings, it expresses indignation or irritation. In others, it conveys mortification or embarrassment. It can also be used to show different types of excitement, if you get my drift.
While I say, "Oh my God," frequently in all ways, yesterday the link between "Oh my God" as please-ground-open-and-swallow-me-this-minute and heavy breathing formed in my mind. I was working on my book about the trials and tribulations of growing up, and began a chapter on sexual awakening. As I wrote about the time I asked my mom how babies were made when I was in fourth grade, I was immediately transported back in time…. (Cue flashback/excerpt.)
I turned to my mom for enlightenment. Every fall and spring, we had a "girl's night out" where she took me shopping for new clothes for the upcoming season, as I generally outgrew everything from the prior year. It was just the two of us, my dad staying home with my sister. In the fateful year of the bra, I decided to revisit the whole where babies come from issue while were shopping for t-shirts and shorts that I could stuff my roly poly figure into without looking obscene.
Really, though, by the spring of 1986, did any kids still ask their parents where babies come from? No! Most had enough common sense to learn about it in less embarrassing ways: from older kids or by digging through the library for books like, "Where Did I Come From?" Kids who were even nerdier than me might have waited an extra year and figured this shit out in the "sex ed lite" we were given in 5th grade, with the boys herded off to one room with the male junior high teachers and the girls shuttled into another, so we could learn about wet dreams, periods, and where babies come from. (Some kids probably learned about sex by reading their dad's stashes of porn mags, but I'd argue that this does not actually teach anyone where babies come from, so it doesn't count.) The point is, I am the only fourth grader dorky enough to decide to ask my mom.
Closing time was approaching at Old Orchard mall, and my mom and I walked toward one last shop before the clock struck 9:00, and I turned into an unclothed pumpkin for the summer. The April air was cool on my face. I appreciated that it would be hard to see my face in the dark. The time was right. I took a deep breath.
"Mom," I said began nervously, then spat out the rest, "How are babies made?"
I grabbed her hand and held it tightly once the words escaped my lips, but I could not look at her.
She grabbed my hand back just as tightly, maybe out of surprise that I asked, but definitely uncomfortable. "The parents have sex," she replied in a straightforward manner. "The husband places the penis in the wife's vagina."
Oh my GOD! What was I thinking, asking her this? I wanted to curl up in a ball on the ground and die of embarrassment. No wonder my other friends preferred to hear crazy stories from other kids. I had to play it cool, though.
"Oh, OK." I said. Maybe I asked some follow up questions, but if I did, I blocked them out of my memory for good reason.
For the rest of the day, I was mortified. Last night, I told Husband about what a freak I was and asked how he found out how babies were made.
"Did you ask either of your parents?" I inquired.
He laughed. "No! I'm not a fool! I waited to learn about it in school. It wasn't a burning question."
Um, thanks. Here's my question to you, Dear Reader – how did you find out how babies were made?