I can't say I'm looking forward to the birds and the bees talk with my daughter, but I'm not dreading it with the same ulcer-inducing fear that some parents face.
Jeanne Sager: I've got an ace in the hole -- literally.
I've only had sex with one man. And seeing as her conception was anything but immaculate, that makes my "first" and my "baby daddy" one and the same.
Don't worry, my santi-mommy act has never been good. So I'm not going to tell you I made some major sacrifice that elevates me above you. I just had good timing.
I met my husband to be when I was 14, started dating him at 16. Fast forward another few years, and we got married. Now here we are, about to celebrate our 10-year wedding anniversary with a four-and-a-half-year-old daughter at home.
According to a poll currently going on over at LilSugar, I'm not as much of an anomaly as I once thought. The results are neck and neck -- with women who lost their virginity to the father of their child(ren) at 49 percent, women who had more than one bite at the apple at 51.
No surprise -- most of us married our high school sweethearts. A common practice from our parents' days, it's still alive and well and turning out happy marriages.
But contrary to myth, we weren't all 16 and pregnant. Most of us were sexually active long before the baby came along. I didn't even know we'd end up parents -- our first official date took place in a restaurant bearing the name "Tilly's," a moniker that prompted a discussion of what kind of person gives their kid a hooker name. Parenting, we'd decided, was just weird.
And then we became weird. We decided to start trying for a baby four years into marriage. Our fifth wedding anniversary was our last as a family of two.
Another hard truth -- it's not always a guarantee that things will work out. One friend who followed the same path (started dating him at 16, now has her own four-and-a-half-year-old), has struggled with a separation from her husband in part because she has never experienced any other sexual relationship. Sex may be old hat, but sometimes it leaves you feeling like you ARE an old hat. Even in a rock solid marriage, it has given me pause at times.
And now for the rubbing it in that you've all been waiting for -- I still can't help considering myself dazzling, perhaps freakishly, lucky. I met my best friend when I was 14. I've been married to him for nine and a half years, and we have a daughter we equally dote on and sometimes spoil.
I found the kind of guy who would end up making a wonderful father right out of the starting gate, and I held on tight. You can't make stuff like this up.
And for that terrifying sex talk, I won't have to. I can look my kid square in the eyes and tell her, "Save yourself for someone you truly love. I did. He's sitting on the other side of the table."
|Jeanne Sager is a mom to Jillian and writer from upstate New|
York. She's strung words together for Babble.com, Kiwi Magazine and
AOL's Holidash, and she shares her award-winning weekly newspaper
column on her blog, Inside Out.