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Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Realization

The Belgariad Set, Books 1-5: Pawn of Prophecy, Queen of Sorcery, Magician's Gambit, Castle of Wizardry, & Enchanter's End GameI'm not going to be able to read my favorite childhood books - what I consider the comfort food of literature - to my 8yo daughter Abby anytime soon.

As noted here, Abby is an innocent in many ways. She understands childbirth but not conception, marriage but not sex, gay rights but not what makes gay people any different where their rights are concerned. She knows that if an egg does not "turn into a baby" it has to leave to make room for the next one, but not how it turns into a baby. She has (thankfully) had no reason to know these things. Now, if she asks me, I'll tell her. "How does that egg become a baby, mom?" is something with which I can cope. But she hasn't asked and I'm not going to give her more information than I think she's ready for, unless my hand is forced. And as much as I love those books, they're not hand-forcing material.

They're PG-rated books, in my opinion. But they have words that she lacks the context to understand, without me explaining all of That Up There in the above paragraph. Words like adultery and courtesan. I mean, I could define those respectively as sleeping with someone you aren't married to and sleeping with someone for money, but again, since she lacks context, she'd think so... what's the big deal? I'd like her to stay a child while she is a child. If she has not expressed any curiosity about the topic before then, our school district teaches sex ed (in the mechanics sense only, and segregated by gender) in fifth grade (or they did in 2007; I do not see it on the curriculum for the 2011-2012 school year, unless it's bundled into "Acquires the knowledge and skills to maintain a healthy life"). She's going into third. I imagine we'll have discussed it long before then. But in the meantime, we'll stick to the straightforward over-the-top drama of Harry Potter, which lacks descriptions like overripe self-indulgence...