Yesterday, after sending the kids to bed, Bucket came out and asked if we could talk.
"In your room."
(I do love my children more than catching up on the last season of The Walking Dead.)
So, we sat on my bed and she started crying.
It turns out that, for a few months, she'd been keeping something to herself.
A few days ago, we'd watched this video together
And, I've talked with them about seeing things that make them feel uncomfortable.
(We do have a copy of Good Pictures, Bad Pictures by Kristen Jenson, which is a helpful resource, too).
Bucket told me that one of her friends, when they play barbies, has the dolls simulate intercourse.
And it made her uncomfortable. And she hadn't wanted to say anything.
I was a little surprised by which friend she named.
First, I thanked Bucket for coming and talking to me.
She confided that she had said a prayer to help her have the courage to talk about her discomfort, and I commended her for choosing to turn to Heavenly Father about it.
I did tell her that it's a rather normal thing that will happen when playing barbies (Hey, my plots with my dolls had a few soap-operatic encounters ... but I was happier playing with a more fairy-tale-esque theme as the main plot. I had a barbie that was the REAL PRINCESS and her beau [Mr. Heart, actually, since he was handsomer] could SEE that, regardless of her shoddy dress, she was worthwhile and precious ... as opposed to the Mean-Girl, GORGEOUS barbie in her FABULOUS gown, who sported an awful snobby attitude ... but the kind barbie was good with all the children and animals and other people ... and, being a prince, he looked through the fancy facade and saw who really deserved his heart ... YES, I KNOW. But it was a FUN plot to play with, okay? Don't even ask about the storylines for my My Little Ponies. ... And my Precious Places figurines would play along to the highlights of Les Miserables ... Yeah, I was a weird kid.)
And I did tell her that I can't change the past (though the power of Christ's Atonement can help to heal everything), but that we could make plans for when things like this happen in the future.
She determined that, if it ever happens again, she can speak up and state that she's feeling uncomfortable ... and ask to change something (go play with LEGO/utilize a different storyline -- maybe Ken and Barbie are going on a beach trip instead of canoodling) ... but she felt better (more empowered, I think) and better able to deal with things like this in the future.
I did, also, let Michael know about what she and I discussed. As her father, he should be aware of what's going on in her life ... and it wasn't anything horribly private/embarrassing.
Though, I do know that Michael is glad he's married to me, who doesn't have a problem talking about sexuality or intimacy with my kids. Hey, it's a fact of life that we have these feelings ... we have them for a reason. (Boyd K. Packer would tell you that, too. And he is an awesome [now late] apostle).
My mom was very open to answering my questions. And, like her, I'd much prefer that my kids come to me with their questions instead of turning to their friends or (worse, often) the internet.
I do let Bruise and Bucket (and eventually Bubbles) know that we believe that Heavenly Father has a strict moral code. And that obedience to it does protect us. That we believe that sexual intercourse is sacred (though it can also be, dare I say it, fun).
I also let them know that, even if they choose not to obey this moral code, they will still have the fullness of Heavenly Father's and Jesus's love for them (though they will lose the companionship of the Holy Ghost ... and distance themselves from Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, until they repent, anyways) ... and that we (Michael and I) will still love them. We'll be disappointed, of course, but we acknowledge that they have their own moral agency and have the right to make their own choices ... though they will have to accept the consequences for those choices. (And, truly, I'd PREFER that they make correct choices and have those happy consequences ... but I get that it's not my life and all that).
I also have let them know that if anyone should disrespect their agency (Heaven forbid that they [or anyone they know. Or anyone they don't know. Or ANYONE] are sexually abused/raped), that they can ALWAYS come to us for love and support. We will do everything that we can to help them. And that, since it wasn't THEIR choice, it's not their sin at all. (And, the Atonement isn't just for sin. It's for EVERYTHING that needs to be made right ... and, through the Atonement, they can be healed body, spirit, mind ... all of that.)
So, yeah. That's a heavier topic than I really wanted to cover with my children ... But it's one that I know I'm going to have to cover multiple times. Like I said, "THE TALK" isn't just a once-and-you're-done type of thing.
*sigh* But it's a good thing, making sure that MAH BAYBEES are prepared for the real world. I mean, that's my main goal as a parent -- to raise (eventual) adults who will be good, self-sufficient citizens, who will be able to make their own choices with confidence, who will have their own testimonies, who will be a source of light and goodness in the world, who will be able to dispel fear and hate and replace it with love and kindness, since the world SURE NEEDS that.
Though, if our children can take care of us in our old age in the manner to which we'd like to be accustomed, though, I wouldn't argue. ;P