By Lynda Hollenbeck
Parents — probably since the beginning of time — dread the day when they have to enlighten their children about the onset of life.
You know what I mean. The old "birds and bees" stuff; facts of life; creation; whatever you want to call it.
This can sometimes be the theme for movies and television shows, even TV commercials, where a kid raises a pointed question that begs for some "real" information.
The days are long past when kids will buy into the stork story.
I don't remember my mother ever having this biological discussion with me.
If there had been such a talk, she would have been the one to do it. My father would have been too embarrassed.
In the first place, I didn't need the explanation and maybe Mamma knew that. Anyway, when I began to be curious about how/where babies came from, I did what any respectable future investigative reporter would do: I found a book in the school library and read it for myself, completely devoid of emotion or embarrassment.
I didn't check out the book because I wasn't about to take it home and have to explain why I had it to Mamma.
She was puritanical if anything and this wasn't a discussion I relished.
My late spouse, who had a million and one stories in his repertoire, told about the little boy who asked his dad the age-old question: "Daddy, where did I come from?"
The man had been expecting the query, but wasn't looking forward to it.
Not happy, the father nonetheless took a deep breath, drew on his inner strength and shared a detailed, clinical account of just where babies come from.
He didn't leave out any details and was especially proud that he managed to remain calm and collected throughout the explanation.
When he had finished, the man asked his son: "Now, do you understand?"
"Uh, yeah, Dad, I think so," the boy said. "I was just wondering 'cause Johnny said he came from Memphis and I wondered where I came from."
Out of the mouths of babes ...
A lot of times people will deal with this issue by explaining how animals reproduce. There's less emotion somehow.
In keeping with that thought, a friend recently sent the following account, titled "Where do pets come from?"
I'd give credit, but it's attributed to an anonymous source.
This begins with what I'll call a "fractured" version of the creation story in Genesis:
Adam and Eve said, “Lord, when we were in the garden, you walked with us every day. Now we do not see you any more. We are lonesome here, and it is difficult for us to remember how much you love us.”
And God said, “No problem! I will create a companion for you that will be with you forever and who will be a refection of my love for you … Regardless of how selfish or childish or unlovable you may be, this new companion will accept you as you are and will love you as I do, in spite of yourselves.”
And God created a new animal to be a companion for Adam and Eve. And it was a good animal. And God was pleased. And the new animal was pleased to be with Adam and Eve and he wagged his tail. And Adam said, “Lord, I have already named all the animals in the Kingdom and I cannot think of a name for this new animal.”
And God said, “No problem. Because I have created this new animal to be a reflection of my love for you, his name will be a reflection of my own name, and you will call him DOG.”
And Dog lived with Adam and Eve and was a companion to them and loved them. And they were comforted. And God was pleased. And Dog was content and wagged his tail.
After a while, it came to pass that an angel came to the Lord and said, “Lord, Adam and Eve have become filled with pride. They strut like peacocks and they believe they are worthy of adoration. Dog has indeed taught them that they are loved, but perhaps too well.”
And God said, “No problem! I will create for them a companion who will be with them forever and who will see them as they are. The companion will remind them of their limitations, so they will know that they are not always worthy of adoration.”
And God created CAT to be a companion to Adam and Eve. And CAT would not obey them. And when Adam and Eve gazed into Cat's eyes, they were reminded that they were not the supreme beings. And Adam and Eve learned humility. And God was pleased. And Dog was happy. And Cat didn’t care one way or the other.
Could anyone have said it better?
Lynda Hollenbeck is senior editor of the Saline Courier.