When my daughter came to me and told me some of her friends were having sex, I wasn’t sure how to respond. They are, after all, only in the ninth grade.
Sure we’ve had all the sex talks, and the puberty talks, and the safe sex talks, too. But I just thought I had more time.
Maybe I was being naive. Maybe I was just hoping. Either way, I thought I still had a minute before this whole sex thing was actually upon us.
I was wrong.
“Were they safe?” I asked this question, because as a parent, I have to know that I can’t undo what’s been done, but I can educate.
“No. They were too embarrassed to get condoms.”
My stomach sunk. Ugh. Not the answer I was hoping for. “Is she at least in the pill?”
“Of course not.” My daughter answered surprised I didn’t just know that.
She was right though, nobody is really going out and getting birth control pills for their 14 year old.
“So they had sex, but didn’t use a condom because they couldn’t get one? Do they not like, have them at school?”
My daughter was more informed about where to get free condoms than I thought she was because she did have an answer to this, “Well, there’ a big jar of them at school but everyone sees when you take one out.”
My first instinct was to buy condoms and just give them to my kid so she could hand them to her friends. But she would DIE.
I’m being serious. She might go all wicked witch on us and just melt into a pool.
So I needed to figure out how to get condoms in the hands of these kids without involving my daughter.
And also without pissing off other parents. Because giving condone to people probably wasn’t going to go over all that well.
And that’s when the “safe sex box” was born.
I found a totally neutral, discreet place in my house, (in this case, my guest bathroom) and put a little box full of condoms under the sink.
I told my daughter about the box. “As far as anyone is concerned, that box belongs to your parents. But you should know that we will never ever count how many condoms are in that box. And, In fact if that box ends up empty, we will fill it back up.”
My daughter and I have a really open and honest relationship, so this was an okay conversation for us to have. She tells me every-freaking-thing that ever goes on in her life.
But not everybody has that. Not everybody wants that. And that’s okay. That doesn’t mean they don’t need to have safe sex, though.
“And you want me to tell my friends?”
“I want you to make that choice for yourself.”
And so she did. The next time one of her friends brought up not using a condom with her boyfriend, she sent them straight to the safe sex box.
If I can prevent even one unwanted teen pregnancy or std with the safe sex box, then I consider that a complete win.