They're welcome to extol the virtues of practicing safe sex with my daughter as soon as she's old enough to grapple with the concept.
I'm not abdicating my role as a parent, but I've already come to terms with a simple failure of parenting: Kids don't want to take our word for everything in life.
Mom. Dad. You need a wingman.
Somebody who helps snag their attention, who reels in the prey.
Teachers make perfect wingmen. Because they're not you.
And when you say the best way to learn the rainbow is with the letters ROY G BIV, your kids will roll their eyes. Then they'll come home five days later chanting, "Roy ... G ... Biv ... " because Miss Parker said so.
This sort of adoration wanes as they age, but there's still a respect for the teachers -- it may not be greater than for a parent, but at least it's different. Parents tell you what to do day in and day out. Teachers are only on your back a few class periods a week.
And so when it comes to some of those tough topics -- I want a wingman. I want someone reeling her in and telling her that birth control isn't merely a suggestion, it's a must-have, especially when you're a teenage girl and you risk pregnancy as much if not more than STDs.
As a mother of a girl, birth control is my best friend. Sure, I'd prefer she wait for someone she loves and as long as possible. But reality says I need someone who will tell her if she doesn't, she needs to be protected.
If that means a teacher providing her with some of the options because that's the only person she's willing to listen to, I'm okay with that.
Do you have a wingman for the sex talk?