When I was 13, I walked in on my parents having sex in their bathroom. I was pretty put out -- I mean, how dare they expose me to something so gross? And in the bathroom?! How was I ever going to shower again without reliving them going at it? My girlfriends and I had a good laugh about it, and since then it hasn't been difficult to block it from my memory. That is, until the universe decided to teach me a lesson in paybacks ....
Living in a smallish house, my husband and I have been careful to never do anything too intimate until our children are asleep, and even then to do it very quietly. Due to their almost constant proximity, the opportunities for wild sex have been rare. One recent Friday night, however, we were excited to find that both of our kids had plans for sleepovers, so naturally, once the house was empty, we attacked each other. But what started out as hot sex ended with my daughter returning home to retrieve a forgotten toothbrush. The rest goes down in the most cringe-worthy of parenting annals.
Yes, the scenario you are imagining really did occur, and it was every bit as mortifying as you think. We didn't hear her enter the house because we had closed the door to our bedroom. God knows how long she'd been standing there watching us, but when I glanced at the doorway, there she was, holding her toothbrush, a deer in headlights, staring at her nude and sweating parents (who were in a very un-missionary position). The situation could not have been worse. If she were, say, 3, I could have said that Mommy and Daddy were exercising or something. But she knew exactly what was going on, because she's 10 and we'd had the sex talk not two years before. Now our child had visual proof of our sex life -- and it was much worse than the proof I'd gotten of my own parents'. God help me.
We quickly covered up and tried to remain calm. We acted like it was no big deal, because we didn't want her to think it was. But let me tell you, it was hard to pull off. We told her we were sorry she'd had to see what she'd seen, but that what she'd witnessed was two loving, committed and married (I emphasized the latter, so she didn't get any ideas) people expressing their love for one another. We asked her to come to us if she had any questions, and we requested that she not discuss this with her friends. To both requests, she answered, "I'd rather die."
So that takes care of that. There is nothing more we can do, I guess, aside from teaching her to always knock on closed doors before opening them. That's a lesson I learned the hard way, also, except now I've learned another, more important one: You have to remember to lock some doors, too.