Loading
April 23, 2012
The Talk
By Brian Caulfield *

By Brian Caulfield *

It was a clear fall day, and I was ready to give “the talk” to my 11-year-old son. Like most dads, this was a moment I looked forward to, and dreaded.

How would I begin to raise the issue, gauge my son’s reaction, give him enough information but not too much? My wife was not too sure this was the right time to explain the “birds and the bees” to her “baby.” But I knew he was hearing things in school and Boy Scout campouts, and I wanted to be the first to pass on the facts about this great human mystery of love, sex and reproduction.

We went to the park, tossed the baseball for some father-son bonding. He had gained height, weight and muscle over the summer, and I told him that he was throwing harder than ever. Arms tired, we walked through the woods to a stream and sat on the solid cement crossing, watching the water flow beneath as we had done many times before. I had planned this perfectly, telling him at different times over the past week that we would have “that talk” I had promised. The moment had come and I was pretty pleased with myself that all seemed to go well. I talked about God’s design for creation and mankind, placed the physical sexual act within the larger context of love and marriage, and ended by saying what a joyful miracle it was to see the birth of my first son – the boy I was now talking to. He shrugged a lot as I spoke, nodded his head, smiled and frowned, said at one point (I forget when) “Are you sure about that?” – and seemed satisfied to get on with his life of sports, books, food, videos and teasing his little brother.

Phew, that’s done! Yet I was struck with a sudden uneasiness that I would need to have a second talk. I wasn’t worried over further discussions about love and sex now that the topic had been broached. What concerned me was that at some point I would have to tell him about what science has thrust upon us. We had just had the “sex talk,” but soon I would need to give the “asexual talk” about other reproduction methods, and why they are wrong. Suddenly the brave new world came crashing into our family life in a very personal way. I was 21 when Louise Brown was born, and I knew all about IVF, test-tube babies and other ART forms (artificial reproductive technologies), having even written about the medical and moral implications. But the issue was more theoretical than real for me since I knew I’d never use the technology.

It wasn’t until that talk with my son by the stream when I realized that the new ART world had leapt the moat of our Catholic castle and crashed the walls of our family life, and I felt betrayed.

Now the question is, when should we have that second talk?

Brian Caulfield is editor of the website Fathers for Good, an initiative by the Knights of Columbus that features regular articles, videos and other multimedia on the subject of Christian fatherhood. A father of two young boys, Brian writes on the spiritual truths found in daily life and the issues men face while striving to live out their vocation.
« Previous entry     Back to index     Next entry »
Ads by Google
(What's this?)
blog comments powered by Disqus

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic
Apr
23

Liturgical Calendar

April 23, 2014

Wednesday within the Octa ve of Easter

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 28:8-15

Gospel
Date
04/22/14
04/21/14
04/20/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Acts 3:1-10
Gospel:: Lk 24:13-35

Saint of the Day

St. Adalbert of Prague »

Saint
Date
04/21/14
04/20/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 28:8-15

Homily
Date
04/22/14
04/21/14
04/20/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: