Sunday, June 21, 2015

"Hey, Dad. What's a clitoris?"

Yes, that was a real question Alison asked her father last week at the Pride Parade.

The question is a fabulous illustration of their relationship. The answer is what makes Jeff Reed a great dad, a great partner and an all around terrific person.

Some dads would shudder, start dripping sweat, look desperately around for the first female they could find and shove the kid in that general direction stuttering something like, "Uh, hey, I think I smell smoke. And I think you're mother's calling. Better go find her."

But much like the Grinch on Christmas Day surrounded by Whoovillians, Jeff Reed's heart grew three sizes. And he answered her.  "Huh," she said. "OK."

And that was that. 

I feel compelled, on behalf of all fun-loving women, to interject here that if you you are in a relationship with a female and don't know the answer to Alison's question, you should stop reading this missive and get yourself to the interwebs right now. Your partner will thank you.

Does what inspired Alison to ask the question matter?  Not really. Sure, we were surrounded by a fairly provocative crowd, but it was a joyful gathering and a great demonstration of a bunch of silly, happy people just pleased to be able to showcase their true selves. We should all be so free more often.

Alison, like every kid, has been asking questions for years that could drive a more traditional adult figure screaming in another direction. But we've always tried to hit them straight on, explaining as well as we could in age-appropriate words. It's not always been as easy as we hope our delivery has been.

She asked me what "the c-word" was once when I was driving and I almost wrecked the car as I wracked my brain coming up with that answer. Jeff has occasionally been surprised when she made references to things he didn't know she knew about. 

And yes, some of our friends and family think we should be more circumspect. 

As she gets older, the appropriateness is shifting, of course. But it's always been a philosophy that's worked for us.

In any event, it's Father's Day and Jeff is wallowing in the idea that even in her teen years, Alison will turn to him as easily as she turns to me for answers about body parts or boys. As he should. 

Ali presented him with a breakfast she'd made after forcing him to stay in bed to consume it.  "That girl is not a leader; she's just bossy," he fake-complained. I was just grateful he had pants on when she came in.

After he was allowed to emerge, she showered him with gifts, including a card she'd tailored with a drawing of him that included a bit of the salt she sees in his pepper-colored hair.  It's been a good morning and the day promises to just get more fun.

Now, is there anything YOU'D like to know? 



Hilary Ricks said...

Look - a deer!

Cheryl said...

Hahahahahahahahhahahahah. Amer. Sigh. Hahahahahahahaha!

Scott P Cunningham said...

You feel the beauty in relationships, it a thing we like about you (and miss in our daily lives). xo scott