We have had our share of awkward conversations in our household.
We have discussed body parts to no end. We have talked about nipples, stretch marks, penises and my uterus. We have discussed the inappropriateness of calling your testicles Nutterbutters with our three sons – even if their mother cannot stop giggling when they do so.
So it was no big surprise when I heard Vito say to our sitter,
“Allie, I have a penis. Isaiah has a penis. Isaac has a penis. What do you have?”
This happens every time one of my sons turns three. We start playing the game, “Who Has A Penis”. I usually fall into the column of the Haves at first. Why wouldn’t I? Their father has one, they have one – even the dog has one. I explain gently that mommy is in the Have Not column. I have a vagina instead.
I hear Allie shuffling her feet. Her sentences were stalled.
I stopped on my way out the door for a date night with my guy. I spun on my stiletto and leaned out of our kitchen to say,
“It’s okay, we say vagina here!”
Allie was instantly relieved.
I felt the same way when faced with the question of genatalia by my eldest son.
I balked. I stalled and then *hangs head in shame* I called it a flower.
My guy was appalled.
“Oh, no. If mine is a penis, then yours is a vagina.”
I quickly recovered and told Isaiah that I had a vagina. I was so thankful for my husband’s black and white sense of fairness in that moment. I am wiser now. I no longer balk. It is fact. I have a vagina. They have a penis.
I have called it many things but at the end of the day, my vagina is not my flower. No matter how much I love saying that my glory is almost showing, it does not change the fact that at the end of the day, it is still my vagina.
Apparently, in the Michigan House of Representatives, there was a bit of confusion over whether the word vagina is acceptable last week.
I won’t rehash the whole story. You can read it here.
I don’t have time for that anymore.
I did make time to sit on the lawn of the State Capitol to enjoy a performance of the Vagina Monologues headlined by the amazing Eve Ensler. She was supported by talented actresses and even the likes of Gretchen Whitmer, Barb Byrum and Lisa Brown.
I didn’t call a single friend to see if they’d be there. I had no doubt that they’d all be there somewhere. I was right. They were or they were posting that they were there in spirit all over Facebook.
I was grateful.
I was grateful to be considered mixed company.
I was moved to tears several times as I heard stories that I related to and as I saw women that I was connected to.
I read signs.
I heard attendees join in on parts of the monologue that they had memorized.
I rejoiced in the wonderful opportunity that ignorance can create. My spirit sang in solidarity. I was strengthened by the women circling the wagons.
And as my husband dropped my children off to me at the edge of a huge crowd yelling vagina, I smiled because they knew the word already.
As for me and my house, we say vagina.
Michigan, your house should do the same thing.