Nothing like starting out the day with a little light conversation. "It is a reference to anal sex. And sometimes oral."
After a moment of silence during which he processed this information, he said: "Okay then. Sorry I asked. That's. Just. Ugh. So, did you see that the Timberwolves beat Utah?"
I went outside to shovel the plow hump at the end of our driveway, and resisted the temptation to shove my head into a snowbank. Did my kid just ask me to define "sodomize?"
That afternoon, I happened to catch a brief story on "The Doctors" about an activity that a disturbing number of teenagers are participating in, called "The Fainting Game." This "Game" involves intentionally depriving the brain of oxygen in order to bring on a partial or even complete loss of consciousness. Obviously, serious injuries can occur, sometimes including the unwanted side effect of death.
I casually asked Zach: "Hey. Do you know anyone at school that has done 'The Fainting Game', and have you ever been asked to try it?"
"What the heck is 'The Fainting Game?' It doesn't sound like anything I'd want to try. Unless I was insane." Exactly the answer I was looking for.
"It's this game where kids intentionally choke themselves or a buddy, until the person faints, and nails their head on the floor. And sometimes dies."
"Yeah, see, that's definitely something I won't be lining up for. What moron would do this?"
"This moron," I said, as I made him watch a home movie of someone fainting and nailing his head on the floor. He just shook his head in disbelief and went back to watching tennis videos on YouTube.
Zach is 13, and even though I know that conversations like these have to happen, it freaks me out to think how fast the last decade whipped by and how it seems like just yesterday that he was asking me how the power windows in the car work and was learning how to tie his shoes. Now he's in 8th grade, surrounded by girls with boobs, and just watched an episode of South Park about a giant douche.
Talking to the boys about these uncomfortable topics makes me really appreciate having five-year-old Zoe in the house. When asked how she managed to remember so many songs from music class, she said: "Well, I keep them in my head. And then they come out of my mouth. It's not that hard."
I'm thinking of never letting her become a teenager.