My conversations with Lena make me remind myself that my parents’ insecurities, and shame about sex, are now mine to shed. Ideally, there should have been nothing on my teenage mind too salacious for them to hear, and certainly nothing to offend their parental dignity, because I was merely curious about an important part of my human self, one that was so abruptly and obviously there.
Just the same, I have had to wonder: Is there anything besides my inherited sense of shame to prevent Lena from speaking of any sexual topic that engages her mind, to me, at least in private? With the same level of insouciance between us as when we chat about an upcoming trip, or giggle about how much the various models in the latest Vogue look like they are about to throw up?
I am not done pondering this, perhaps because all the possibilities haven’t yet presented themselves and I lack the imagination to know what they will be. In the meantime–before I have arrived at the final answer—I prod myself not to judge Lena in terms of a bunch of assumptions I’m really not so sure I should be holding onto, and sometimes am not even aware of having. My objective in my sea of unknowns is to create an environment where Lena will feel free to speak with me, about whatever—and I am wrenchingly successful.