The night of my fourteenth birthday, which was my best birthday ever, Mom came up to my room as I got into bed. She loves to spoil us.
"You're getting all grown up now, Jenny," she said, kind of happy and sad all at once.
"Yeah," I smiled up at her from my pillow.
"I was thinking we should have a little talk." Mom sat down on my bed.
"About what?" I wondered and she smiled back at me, brushing my blonde hair out of my blue eyes with a soft hand.
My mom is very pretty and everyone says I'm going to look just like her when I really do grow up. Some people say we look like sisters, even though she's like fifteen years older than me. Maybe that's because I look a little older than I am and Mom looks a little younger than she is, I'm not sure. All I know is that I hope it's true, all of it, cause looking like Mom would be pretty cool.
"About being a woman," she said, "and about boys and..."
"I already know where babies come from, Mom." I giggled a little and maybe blushed, but not too much. She knew I knew, cause she'd told me, mostly.
"I know you do, Jen. I just don't want to see you grow up thinking that just because you're a woman, you have to be..." she thought for a second, " ... weak. I want you to be strong."
"Like you?" I asked, not really teasing her, but not really understanding what she meant either.
"Like me, yeah." Mom smiled. "There are a lot of weak women out there and the world doesn't need one more."
"Uh ... Okay," I shrugged, but Mom saw the confusion on my face and I guess that was why she was up there in the first place, to explain what she meant.
"Now that you're getting older, boys are going to like you more," Mom said. "If they don't already."
"I think they kinda do," I giggled and mom was smiling.
"I think they do too," she said. "So you know what I mean. You're already so pretty and you're just going to get prettier. Your boobs are going to grow some more, you're going to get taller and more mature. A lot of boys are going to like you a lot, Jenny. They're going to want to be with you and touch you."
"Yeah, kiss you," Mom agreed. "And make babies in your tummy too, if they can. But you have to respect yourself, that's the first thing."
"I know, Mom," I nodded cause she was always saying that stuff to me.
"Some girls, weak girls, will let them do it too," she said. "Not because they want to, but because they're too weak to tell a boy no. They won't put up a fight when a boy tries to spread her legs."
"And get his penis inside her," I said, just to remind her that I wasn't totally stupid or anything.
"Right. And get his penis all the way up inside her," Mom agreed. "But you have to be stronger than those girls. Don't let just any boy put his penis inside you, Jen. You have to make sure he's the boy you want because you're the woman. It's your body and..."
"I get to choose what I do with it," I smiled. "You told me that before."
"I know I did, but your fourteen now," Mom smiled back. "I won't be able to watch you all the time, so you're going to have to make your own decisions. Take responsibility for yourself like a grown woman does."
"A strong woman," I nodded.
"A strong one," Mom nodded too. "And you know there are different kinds of boys, right? There's big, strong, manly boys."
"And pathetic, little wimpy boys." I giggled, because I'd definitely heard this part before.
"Exactly," Mom said. "You remember, huh? So the big, strong boys are good for..."
"For having sex with," I answered.
"And the little wimpy ones?"
"For earning money and loving me."
"And loving all your little babies too," Mom told me. "Don't forget that part."
"I won't," I promised.
"Just remember, when you look for the boy you want to spend your life with, the one you want to marry, you have to make sure he understands his place."
"Where's that?" I wondered, cause maybe I'd forgotten that part.
"Between your thighs mostly," Mom laughed lightly. "No, what I mean is. The man you marry has to remember that he's only here to make you happy. He's lucky to have a beautiful wife like you and he knows it. He wants to do everything he can to make your life perfect."
"Because that'll make his life perfect too, right Mom?"
"Exactly," Mom said. "A good husband is happiest when he's making his wife happy. It's really, really simple."
"Yeah," I nodded.
"Men don't always see it like that though."
"They don't?" I blinked at my mom and she was shaking her head.
"Nope, they don't. A lot of men, most men, will think you're weak just because you're a girl. They'll think they're stronger than you and on this planet that means they'll think they get to be in charge and make all the decisions."
"On this planet?" I giggled and stuck my little pink tongue out.
"Yeah," Mom giggled too and we even laughed the same sometimes.
"There should be one where all the girls are in charge," I suggested.
"There should be," Mom said. "But we're all stuck here. Anyway, that's why you have to be strong, so you can teach the man you like that he isn't so big and he isn't that strong, and he's not the one in charge just because he's a boy."
"How do I do that?" I wondered. "All the boys I kinda like are really big. I mean..."
"The boys you like?" Mom made a little face, teasing me mostly. "So you're already checking them out, Jen?"
"A little." I bit my bottom lip the way I do sometimes. "Just looking."
"Well, that's okay," Mom smiled. "You're fourteen now anyway, so it's up to you if you want to look or not, and if you want to do a little more than that..."
"It's okay?" I smiled back at her.
"Of course," she agreed. "That's why we're having this talk."
"Okay," I said. "But, um ... So like, if I really liked this one boy, except he's like kinda older than me and really big and everything. How do I get to be in charge or whatever?"
"Is he handsome?" Mom teased me and I blushed. "Does he love you?
"Sorta," I shrugged. "He's always lookin' at me, I know that."
"Yeah," Mom nodded. "But he probably just wants to get his penis inside you. That's not real love."
"But sometimes I sorta want his penis inside me too," I admitted.
"I know you do," Mom said. "That's normal for a girl when a strong handsome man is interested in her. Be interested right back."
"Really?" I grinned and I was feeling a little warm under my blanket with all this talk, and I was thinking about a lot of different boys I kinda liked.
"Sure," Mom said. "But those kinds of boys aren't the kind you want to marry, remember?"
"I want a wimpy boy."
"A considerate, loving man who adores you," she agreed. "One who will do absolutely anything to see you smile."
"I like that," I sighed.
"So do I," Mom agreed. "There's a lot of men like that too, believe me, Jen. That's why you have to be choosy. You have to shop around, you know?"
"What kind of boy should I get though?" I asked, just because I didn't want an ugly one or anything.
"Well, you need a man who can take care of you, not a boy," Mom said. "One with a job and money in the bank. A responsible man who can give you all the happiness you deserve."
"Okay," I shrugged.
"Once you've found a man like that you can start to train him."
"Train him?" I giggled. "Like a dog?"
"Exactly," Mom laughed. "Train him to do the things you like and ignore what he wants to do. Men always want to do silly things, selfish things, and you have to teach him to want what you want."
"Okay," I said. "How do I do that though? Isn't it kinda hard if they're all grown up and everything?"
"It can be hard," Mom nodded. "But if you find a weak-willed momma's boy..."
"Momma's boy!" I laughed.
" ... it's a lot easier than you think," Mom continued, but she was giggling too. "And there's all kinds of ways to wrap a wimp around your finger, Jenny."
"Will you help me?" I wondered, and she nodded.
"Of course, I will," Mom sighed and smoothed my blanket. "I'm always going to be here for you. In fact, I've already arranged a little date for you this..."
"What?" I gasped at her and my eyes got real big.
" ... Friday night." Mom grinned at the look on my face. "He's an older man, but he has a very good job. He's the vice-president of a bank. His mother assures me that he's a virgin too, which is perfect for you."
"Um ... How much older is he?" I wondered nervously.
"About your daddy's age," Mom shrugged. "Forty-two, I think."
"Oh." I couldn't hide my frown.
"Now, Jen..." Mom rolled her eyes. "There's nothing wrong with dating an older man like that. It'll be good practice. You're not going to marry him or anything."
"I'm not?" I asked, feeling a little happier when I heard her say that.
"No," Mom shook her head. "He's just going to be practice. You can do whatever you want with him too."
"Anything?" I bit my bottom lip.
"Pretty much," Mom shrugged. "But make him love you first, that's the important thing. You have to practice that and after the man completely adores you, well ... then you can break him."
"Break him?" I giggled.
"Like an old toy," Mom laughed. "I promised his mother you'd send the man back home in tears. She's worried that he doesn't really love her enough."
"Oh," I nodded, but I still had a lot to learn.
"But what about the other boys, Mom? The ones I like?" I asked. "If I'm gonna be with..."
"His name's Henry, dear."
.... There is more of this story ...