Yesterday, Noah brought home a note that none of my children have ever brought home before. He handed it to me nervously and before I had finished reading the first sentence, Noah started to beg. “Please don’t sign it Mom.” His reasons not to sign it ranged from practical to pitiful. I signed it anyway.
Sometime this semester, Noah will bring home a doll for the weekend. A $500 doll that Noah will forever remember as being responsible for one of the most embarrassing weekends of his life.
Noah was in the room when Evan was born. He held Evan before Doug did. Noah changed more of Evan’s diapers than my father changed of my brothers and mine. If Evan whimpered, Noah would pick him up and rock him. Noah proudly pushed his brother’s stroller in public. Noah’s only complaint about the fragile, noisy, odd smelling person who joined our family was that he never got to feed Evan a bottle. Noah knows where babies come from and that they require around the clock attention. He knows that everything he did for his brother was by choice and that there were adults standing a few inches from them both at all times. He also has enough sense to not be ashamed of a baby.
What this doll will do, is embarrass a 13-year-old boy. “I can’t leave the house with a robot doll.” It will make his father and I a nervous wreck. “It costs five hundred dollars. Don’t let your younger brother near it.” What this doll won’t do, is cause me to get my undies in a twist and indulge Noah’s cries of mortal embarrassment or a guaranteed disaster. “Weird stuff ALWAYS happens to me. I just know it’ll get broken.” Noah is going to have this experience just like everyone else at his school. I know what it’s supposed to teach teens, but I think I will continue to keep the no-questions-asked-condom in the medicine cabinet.