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The Facts of Life

"Do you know where babies come from?" my Mom asked.

What an absolutely embarrassing thing to ask me? What prompted this question? Probably all the questions I had be posing, seemingly out of the blue.

I had been reading the classic Judy Bloom book, "Are You There God It's Me Margaret." My mother was thrilled I wanted to read that book. We usually disagreed on reading material, but the word God in the title sold her hands down.

I stood there feeling a bit caught. I confessed I knew where babies came from.

"French kissing, like on the soap operas."

"Well, that's part of it .... come here." I followed my Mom into my room, she went straight to my Junior Encyclopedias and at the end of the bookshelf were the "Life Cycle" books. She skipped straight to volume 3, handed the book over and instructed me to read chapters 7 and 8 and then return her for questions.

Chapter 7 covered the very intricate road map of my genders anatomy. Chapter 8 was a more uncomforable read, but a much simpler road map with names that sounded like German army generals.

I read my chapters as instructed and returned hoping that I could end this particular discussion as soon as possible. Our discussion had now moved to the livingroom. My father was oblivious, shielded from the rest of us by a fully furled newpaper. My brother Tom was laying on the floor in front of the TV. Mom and I were sitting on the couch together looking over volume three of the "Life Cycle" collection.

She explained what went where. I just prayed that my brother wouldn't turn around.

Honestly I didn't believe her. No one is going to want to do that. Don't worry I will not be taking part in that particular activity. Adults are really sick, more than I could have even imagined. Other vague questions came to mind, how close must you be in proximity for this to even happen, why would anyone do such a weird thing and wow if that is where babies come from and everyone is a result of this activity then obviously it's being done a lot.

I looked at my Mom in absolute disbelief. Her eyes shined in a peculiar way that frankly made me a bit nervous. She assured me that some day I am going to want to take part in this activity and that it's a beautiful thing. Then she added "between two people who love each other very much and are married." She really stressed that married part." Ewww I hope this doesn't mean that .. ewww ewww ewww.

You see, there is a comfort to being adopted that no one discusses. That comfort is having no absolute proof that your parents have ever had sex.

With this particular episode put to rest I return to the backyard to play with our yellow lab, Drake and practice my cartwheels.