I pulled on the light and looked at the cumulative baggage of 12 years in this house. Boxes were buried under bags of baby clothes. Stuffed animals, winter coats, cribs...I could open a store with what I have piled in my attic. So I sat down in the midst of the mess and started sorting as best as I could.
A box filled with journals stopped my frantic progress. There in my attic with piles of baby clothes to my right and old skis to my left, I allowed myself to read words I had written over 20 years ago. My high school journals were the most entertaining. I wrote of first loves, first heart break, girlfriend drama, college dreams, small town boredom and self-esteem struggles. Basic high school stuff. Or at least they used to be the basic stuff of high school.
As I read my words written from a simpler time over 20 years ago, I started thinking of my daughter who is now in 8th grade. She is facing more challenges than I ever had. I hear on the news and, even today on Dr. Phil, about oral sex parties, intercourse at school dances and sexting nude pictures. "Making out" seems to have taken on a whole different meaning.
I won't lie. I had sex in high school, but only with a serious boyfriend. Promiscuity was not the way to popularity. Our parties consisted of alcohol, not crack. Making out meant going to first or second base, not having oral sex with a line of boys. Despite that, even I have regrets looking back. Regrets about not standing up for myself with boys because I didn't have the tools in my mental tool box to know what to say or the right things to do. No one ever told me.
As I sat there with my history literally surrounding me in my attic, I realized that I cannot avoid the hard talk with my daughter. We have had the sex talk and the drug talk, but not the oral sex talk. She is 13. She is beautiful. As her mother, I need to give her the tools to live her life on her terms instead of being swept up in the fray.
There are certain things that cannot be avoided like tackling the attic after 12 years and being honest with my daughter about all aspects of sex. Even an avoidance queen like myself knows when and where to surrender.