Life, Death, and the Sex License

By Piper Bayard

Themes of death and birth, that cycle of apocalypse and renewal, surrounded me this week. A dear friend’s father died, a good soul who made the planet better by his presence. Another friend hit the magic 28 weeks and breathed a sigh of relief that her unborn child now has the odds in his favor. And in our house? My 9th grade son, who I could swear just started walking yesterday, applied for his Sex License.


Canstock photo -- Not my son.

Canstock photo — Not my son.


“So Mom. How old is old enough to have sex?”

I’m well aware that almost any religion on the planet would offer a moral answer to that question. I’m also aware that the guiding light of morals tends to dim in the dashboard lights. I mean, think about it. How many “good kids” did you know in high school who lost “it” at church camp or spawned prom babies because THEY would never do THAT? I needed to give him something real. Something tangible. So I said what I think most parents would say in my shoes.

“Uuuuhhh . . .”

“I get my Learner’s Permit at 15.”

“Not fifteen!”

“Well, I get my Driver’s License at 16, and driving a car is a serious responsibility.”

“A car doesn’t get pregnant when you drive it. And you don’t get hepatitis or AIDS from a car.”

“So Mom, how old is old enough?”

“Well, you know you can have a baby every time you have sex, even with birth control. I mean, have you noticed your little sister running around here? Latex loophole baby.”

“Eeewww! Maaahm!”

“Hey. You opened the door for that one.”

So we talked about sex. We noted how young men are most biologically suited for killing bears and starting families. I commiserated with him about how the modern economics of supporting families are out of sync with natural urges and the sight of teen girls in mini-skirts. We pondered the fact that the most important decision he will make in life is choosing the mother of his children. And I can hear some of you dear readers now . . .

“He asked his mother? He needs to talk to his dad. His dad will set him straight.”

I’m sure his dad WOULD give him a different answer. And my writing partner, Jay Holmes? Let’s just say he’s been a student of sex, C4, and hollow points for a very long time, so it’s safe to assume he won’t be backing me up on this one.

But as I studied my man-child and tried to give him real world answers to his real life questions, at least from a mother’s perspective, I realized something. Life so loves Itself that no amount of death can discourage it for long. At least not while there are teenage boys, and girls in mini-skirts.

9 comments on “Life, Death, and the Sex License

  1. They do grow up fast don’t they? It is a good sign that he would talk to you; many teenagers would never go to a parent for information about sex or other life issues. There is so much out there kids deal with; these days it’s probably not a bad idea to have this sort of conversation even before 9th grade.

    • Piper Bayard says:

      One thing I’ve learned from my kids is that most of their friends feel like they can’t talk to their parents at all. Bless their hearts. It’s so hard to be a teen. Especially when they feel there are no trustworthy adults in their lives. Sadly, they are often right.

  2. It’s terrifying, isn’t it? Unfortunately, my experience is that they are “doing” the things you don’t think they are doing. The key is communication and it looks like you have that under control!! I talk to my son about sex more than my daughter because for some reason he lets me! 🙂

    • Piper Bayard says:

      I know what you mean. I’ve been surprised by how open my son is with me, particularly with his jokes. He will often have me in side-splitting laughter while I’m saying, “I’m your mom, not your friend. Don’t tell me that joke. Tell it to your dad and let him tell me.”

  3. I think it’s great that you were open and upfront to talking with him even if inside you might have been freaking a little bit. The more comfortable kids are talking to their folks about these things, the more misinformation is dispelled, the less accidents happen, and the more responsible the kids are about their choices. Not that I have children. It’s just what I’ve observed.

    • Piper Bayard says:

      I think you’re right. We’ve always been very matter-of-fact and informational with our kids about sex and pretty much everything else. They don’t seem to be too screwed up by that approach so far.

  4. Don Royster says:

    So when do I get my sex license? I think I qualify for a Learner’s Permit. I am over 16.

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