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Where Do Babies Come From?

by Ronald A. Rowe | July 22nd, 2011 | Elementary

My older son recently came to me with some questions. He was confused by a news story he saw about Jaycee Dugard, the girl who was kidnapped when she was 11 and was finally freed at age 29. In the interim, she had two children. First, he wondered how a child could be held for so long – a really good question that most of us struggle to understand. His second question was how it could be possible for her to have children when she was not married.

His understanding was that you had to be married to have children, and then God would say “OK, you get a baby”. As we sat in his darkened bedroom, my mind ran in two completely separate directions at the same time. While my mind whirred with activity, pressed to respond in the most fatherly wisdom-filled manner possible, the two distinct trains of thought could well be summed up as “Yes!” and “Oh, crap!”

On the one hand, it was great to know that he remained clueless about this. My lovely wife and I had been debating when it would be time for the talk. We knew the time was coming up soon. We know too many parents who waited too long only to find out that their child had learned the birds and the bees from a fifth grader in the school yard. Innocence just doesn’t last as long as it used to.

On the other hand, the “Oh, crap” hand, I was suddenly thrust into the conversation without being fully prepared. I had planned to do this with great fanfare and elaboration, kind of like the dad on the Las Vegas commercial who confidently teaches his daughter about sex using stuffed toys as props. Instead I had no notice, no pre-discussion pep talk from my lovely wife, no support or sock puppets or other visual aids.

I think I pulled it off. He knows about sperm and eggs and that it is possible, but not advisable, to have children without being married. In the final summation, he said he thinks it all sounds pretty gross. Mission accomplished.

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