When I first heard about the Twilight phenomenon – a girl in love with a vampire/a vampire in love with a girl – I was all, “Yeah. It was called Buffy and Angel. No thank you, Stephenie Meyer.” I might have even snorted derisively because seriously, borrow much? However, because there was such the bru-ha-ha and I knew that my oldest girl Amy would probably jump on the Twilight par-tay train, I bought the book. And I read it. In one night. And then the next morning I bought books two and three. And then, three days later, I pulled on my snow boots, tossed a gross hoody over my saggy kneed pajamas, and dragged myself to Books-a-Million at 7:00 p.m. to sheepishly inquire about book number four. I came home with book four and spent the rest of that night and the next day reading it.
Y’all. I am one twisted Pervy McPerverstin. I totally wanted Bella and Edward to do it. If I were a mormon, I’d be a very bad mormon because all Edward’s talk of waiting until marriage was pissing me off more than it was pissing Bella off. Stephenie is a good mormon because they totally waited until marriage. The first few chapters are about them no longer having to wait. So… um… thanks for that, Stephenie.
My dilemma then became do I let Amy read past book 2? How could I not, but then, how could I? I mean, Bella wants the sex! They talk about the sex! They have secret sleepovers without the popcorn and pillow fights! Isn’t that a lot to let a 12 year old sift through?
I talked it over with her father whose only questions were, “Are they married?” and “How explicit?” Yes and he breaks the bedpost, but it doesn’t physically describe the act, it just says that things got a little acrobatic and that they owe whoever a new bed. He shrugged. “Whatever.” He’s helpful like that.
I talked it over with my mother who is usually the first to tell me when I’m being too lenient. “I let you read whatever you wanted,” she reminded me. And that’s true. I read The Thornbirds in sixth grade. And I liked it. My mom studied me for a moment too long and then added, “I don’t think you turned out too depraved.”
I talked it over with other mothers. Some were absolutely opposed. “It’s too soon.” Some weren’t concerned. “Can’t be any worse than what they see on television.”
Finally, I talked it over with my daughter. I told her my concerns. I told her that while the idea of sleeping non-sexually with your boyfriend might be romantic, it was something that Mommy and Daddy did not agree with (Shhhhhh) and would not tolerate. We talked about the s.e. x.. We talked about what a big decision it was, and how her dad and I hoped that it was something she would NOT do until she was 30 or 75, how too many people choose to do it before they’re ready and they choose to do it for what aren’t the right reasons, and we talked about the repercussions of premarital sex. I told her that even though Bella and Edward waited until they were married and even though the author wasn’t graphic, it was still sex and that I wasn’t sure she was emotionally ready to think about that. In short, I told her why I was wavering. “Mom,” she said. “They’re married. It’s a part of being married. It doesn’t bug me. You and dad do it.” “No we do not!” I hissed. She didn’t believe me, nor did she believe that she and her sisters had sprouted from a garden filled with wishes and happy thoughts.
Long story short, I let her read it.
A few days after she’d read it Amy came to me. “It totally didn’t bug me,” she said and then shrugged. “They’re like totally married, and it’s not like, you know… graphic. Well, you know what I mean. I mean it’s not like I could like see SEX in my head, you know? And besides, it’s kind of a small part of the story. Like it only matters because that’s how they got their baby and then had that big showdown at the end. Except, like… they totally did it again before the big showdown… which… like wouldn’t you be working on your stategy or something? I mean you’re totally going to get like, wiped out by the bad guys and you’re gonna pause to break more headboards or whatever? As if.”
As if, indeed.