Monday, August 10, 2009

Just Keep Swimming

I’m down to one kid again – Amy’s in Atlanta for a pre-birthday celebration and Rebecca’s at the lake with our neighbors so Michael's back to being an only child. Sean and I took him out for Mexican Saturday night. The first time we took him out to eat with us he was four weeks old and we went to a Mexican place. It was fun to have him to ourselves and to tell stories about the times it was just the three of us.

We were finishing up our burritos as group of young ladies walked in; it was a bachelorette party. Each girl was wearing a tank top labeled with her part in the wedding: Bride, Maid of Honor, Bridesmaid. They got settled and the Bride began putting straws in everyone’s cups. Trust me when I say these were not ordinary straws; they were anatomically correct straws for a part of the body she didn’t have. Her mother was there. Mom didn’t look too thrilled about the straws. The bride didn’t put one of the penis straws in Mom's cup.

I wasn’t thrilled about the straws, either. Here I am, sitting in a Mexican restaurant with my husband and 15 year old son and we’re watching young 20-something girls laugh about drinking out of penis straws.

Just that morning Sean and I attended a parenting conference and the speaker, Dr. Ted Tripp, made it clear we need to be aware how our culture has made an idol of sexuality. Teenage girls are getting breast enhancements as birthday presents. Appearance trumps a good heart and wise mind. And things that would have been done in secret years ago are now accepted and encouraged.

Tripp said parents have to find ways to show the beauty of God’s design to our kids in a culture that doesn’t value what God values. We will be swimming upstream but, as Dory says, “Just keep swimming.”

That, of course, applies to all things, not just sex. But at that moment the sex part came to mind because eight little pink penises complete with accompanying balls were staring at me from the next table over.

We took the opportunity to chat with Michael about the scene. Did he rise up and called me blessed for imparting such wisdom? Um, no. He’s a good kid but he’s 15 and he most certainly didn’t want to be talking with Mom and Dad about plastic penises (peni?) and what that represents in our world today.

We walked out just as their party was really getting starting. Sean gave Michael the keys so he could drive us home. I thought back to our first Mexican dinner with Michael -- I had him all safe and secure in his car seat. I wished I had a big one of those for him now.

(For the record - I'm not completely opposed to novelty straws or things of that nature. A good friend of mine recently showed me a pen that looked exactly like those straws and we had a great laugh over it. She'd gotten it at a Romance Party which is like a Pampered Chef show except the cooking you'll do if you buy something will not be in the kitchen. Well, I guess it could be... I’m just saying that there is a time and a place for everything and 6 pm at the family-friendly Cancun Grill wasn’t either.)