My girlfriend Juliet has an 11-year old son named Max. Essentially, Max is on the fence between being a child and a teenager. I think our culture calls them tweens. I really wouldn’t know, because this is my first adult experience with one of their particular species. Regardless, at his current age, Max is losing teeth like crazy. I thought that was over by the time they were about 9-years old, so it’s been something of a shock for me to see a dismembered, bloody tooth in his palm–creating blind panic to rush him to the dentist for implant surgery. Lately, Max delights in opening his mouth as wide as he can to show his mother and I his gaping, raw blood holes.

His other pursuit in life is making water balloons and freezing them. He and I bonded when we realized we both share a mad passion for smashing the ice balloons on the pavement every Saturday morning, while Juliet makes French toast–timing it to coincide perfectly with just after we destroy the last balloon.

Recently, Juliet decided it was time to give Max a primer in safe sex. Apparently kids are having rampant oral sex in junior high school, which Max starts next year. He already knows about the birds and the bees, but not the apparatus associated with keeping your private parts healthy and safe. I happily excused myself to Juliet’s computer to write a blog while she and Max had “the talk.”

The house was quiet enough to hear a condom wrapper tear open. And then, as I stared at the computer, I heard Max’s trepidatious footfalls behind me. I racked my lesbian brain to remember something, anything, about condoms in case he had questions. As I turned around, an object resembling a miniature flesh-colored blimp, with a reservoir tip, sailed through the air right at my face. He shyly ducked and ran out of the room. I laughed so hard I cried.

Juliet gave him a couple more condoms so he could familiarize himself with them. And this Saturday morning, sure enough, I opened the freezer to find the king daddy of frozen water balloons–ultra ribbed and still lubricated enough that it nearly slid out on its own like a baby seal off an iceberg. I just smiled at Max, and he smiled back with his gaping blood holes. Without a word, we took that slippery monster outside to smash with scintillating pleasure, while the scent of French toast urged us on.

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