Driving in the car, the pronouncement comes from the back seat.
“Tomorrow is the movie,” announces the fifth grader.
“What, you’re watching Bolt?” I vaguely remember some talk about a post-standardized test celebration.
“No THE MOVIE. The one I can’t talk about with my brother in the car.”
“Oh, well,” I act calm. “You saw one last year. It’s nothing we haven’t talked about, I’m sure.”
Or, I think, anything she hasn’t read in her 5 million readings of her Care & Keeping of Your Body, book, the Holy Grail of puberty information complete with information about boobs, pubic hair, periods and mood swings. That book is so dog-eared it’s a miracle it hasn’t had puppies.
I have been asked more times than I’d like : “Mom, look at the drawings. Do you think my boobs are stage 2 or 3?”
Also, I’d personally like to smack the authors for writing all about mood swings. Ever since she read about those, someone has been swinging like a trapeze artist on a 3-day crack binge. Ah, the power of suggestion.
Still, we try to stay very open about these things. I get this from my mother. Who, as a nurse, volunteered to do the sex-ed talk at my church youth group.
Yes, that is what I said. Let that sink in a minute. My mom. At church. Showing condoms, sponges and other fabulous contraceptives to a room of teenagers including boys I had dated.
Anyway, back to the car conversation.
“But mom, I heard this year we are going to see THE BOYS’ MOVIE.”
“MOM! And I heard there are naked dancing penises in it.”
“Uh, could we not talk about this with your little brother in the car? But also, I am pretty sure that is not the case.”
“No, mom! I heard hairy naked dancing penises. That sing ‘Just Around the Corner’.”
I reassure her, having screened the movie, that there will be no chorus line of choreographed genitalia rocking out to “Just Around the Corner” or any other musical number.
I mean, hello? We live in Texas. That’s the California movie, I am pretty sure.
But I also tell her I remember all the speculation about the movies when I was her age. Of course, they were actually film strips back then, so we we could watch them backwards while they were rewinding. That’s a hilarious development when you’re watching a movie about puberty. Look, disappearing boobs!
The movies themselves were fairly innocuous. But oh, the speculation. I remember hearing all SORTS of rumors about the movie the boys were seeing. By the time the week was over, we were sure they were sitting in a dark classroom reading Playboy while we watched animated eggs travel down a fallopian tube roller coaster.
I tell her not to worry, that there’s nothing too cringe-worthy in the movie.
What I do NOT tell her, though, is *my* most vivid memory of “the movie” in sixth grade, and the resulting question-and-answer session with Mr. Parks, perhaps the coolest teacher in the history of elementary school.
But guess what? I *am* going to tell the internet that story.
Right now, I need to see if that “Just Around the Corner” number is posted on YouTube.