The other day, my step-daughter brought home THE permission slip. She’s 10, in grade 5, it’s not hard to figure out which form I’m talking about. Let me give you a hint—she’s coming upon a time in her life when her body and those of her classmates are beginning to undergo changes.

Oh yes—it was the sex-ed. permission slip!

Is that weird for me? Not at all. As soon as she told me I said I was completely for her learning about it at school and that her dad would probably say the same thing. It was her mom I was a bit concerned about.

Leah’s mom is, well, a little, um, how to put this nicely, hmm. Let’s go with over-protective? Safety is really important (which is fantastic, obviously. I just don't want to risk her being over-sheltered--it makes for a difficult future; been there, done that.).

I was a little concerned that Leah’s mom, who won’t take her out for Halloween (to shelter her from Satanists), wouldn’t want her to take health class with the other kids in school. It’s never easy being that kid. The one who always has to leave the room when they start talking about our bodies changing. Trust me, it’s never easy.

Why my mother decided not to let me participate in sex-ed. in grade 5 I will never know. I got to go in grade 6, but for some reason, not in grade 5.
It’s so hard. As if your formative years aren’t difficult enough (remember how I said I used to get called a Nazi because of my German heritage?), now you’re the weirdo-kid who isn’t allowed to learn about health. And it’s not like my mom sat me down and started talking about it in grade 5 either (which is odd considering as a nurse she is in the health care profession).

I just had to wait an extra year.

Could that be why I didn’t shave my legs until grade 8? I was a year behind (I used to speed swim provincially and I would use that as my excuse for not doing it in grade 7—we all had to keep our leg hair until big meets when everyone, including the guys, were expected to shave their legs. It helped make us go faster because there was less resistance. (Wow, even as an 12-year-old I was full of creativity. Thank you science, you helped make me a convincing liar!)) Of course the real reason was a combination of laziness and lack of knowledge—shaving your legs was probably on the grade 5 health curriculum.

Sadly, I must apologize to all those in my seventh grade class as I also didn't start consistently wearing deodorant until grade 8, either. It was more of a sporadic thing in grade 7. I don’t think I smelled, but then do smelly people ever realize that they smell? Maybe that’s why I’m so adamant that Leah brushes her hair and teeth and bathes at least daily (well only brushes her teeth at least daily. I’m OCD about washing my hands before I eat, but not multiple baths and stuff. That’s just crazy!)

Luckily, we spoke to Leah’s mother and it’s a go. Thankfully. (Provided the school doesn’t teach oral sex, etc, etc. Seriously? Do they do that now? Why? These kids are 10! Do they need to know that? Or as my mother would say, “Does anyone need to know that?”)

Well, Leah now gets to learn most of this stuff at school so that, as parents, we can just skim over it when it’s time for “the talk.”

Man being a parent is easy! 
Scott N
10/12/2010 10:54:50 pm

Hi Rachel, You can use me as a ref. Send me an e-mail and I will give you my new contact information


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