I traveled out of town Monday for a funeral of a friend's parent. To my surprise, my oldest son wanted to go with me. I like to think he wanted to spend time with his old man, but I think he was as interested in getting out of school if he could, but either way, I took the opportunity to spend time with him.

We spent the night in a motel. Now I am not modest around my son. He has seen me naked before and I've seen him too. We live in an older house and the only shower is in the basement above the floor drain...my son calls it our locker room. We have a home gym there and it is not unusual for one of us to be showering after a work-out when the other is finishing their workout. We're not prudish in our modesty, though we're hardly exhibitionists either.

Having said that, I woke yesterday morning to an extremely awkward situation. I usally sleep nude. If I don't I sweat and the boys get chaffed and I fight jock itch all the time. Sometime during the night, my son got up and turned that crappy hotel heater up so that the room became just a few degrees less than a sauna. I sleep through just about anything so it really didn't phase me except that I woke up in the morning completely uncovered with a full-mast morning wood. When I woke, I noticed my son with a horrified look on his face as he had already awakened and noticed.

With an embarrassed chuckle, I said, "I guess two of you are already awake!" I then went into the bathroom, relieved myself and let things subside. I threw on a T-shirt and boxers and my son and I talked. I told him that I was sorry he had to see that, but that it was something every man gets in the morning and probably not something I should be terribly embarrased about. He didn't need to be embarrassed either for looking since I know that he was not expecting that and was curious about his own development. We talked about it, and he asked a lot of questions about things most 13-year olds are thinking about. It was really a good discussion. (Everything from erections, wet-dreams, and birds and bees.) One I wish my dad would have had with me.

Then, this morning I woke before him and I showered and got ready for the day. He was still in bed asleep. I woke him and told him to get out of bed so that we could ready to go. He did, and as he got out of bed, his boxer shorts failed to hide the tent he had made in them. He laughed, and as if to reassure me said, "See dad, it's OK, all guys get them." I shook my head and laughed and told him to get his butt in the bathroom.

I'm just curious, has anyone else ever had something like this happen? Should it feel as awkward as it did? I didn't have a dad involved in my life, and had no brothers so this is a foreign experience to me. I feel like it was a good thing in the end as it opened up doors for a long-needed conversation with him that I might not otherwise have had.

What do you think? Would you have handled it differently? Or am I making a big deal out nothing? While the conversation was good, sporting the erection yesterday morning in his presence, albeit while I was sleeping, feels very weird. He doesn't seem to be traumatized.

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Everybody gets morning glory. No big deal.

Of course, it's an awkward situation, but I don't think you could have handled it much better.

Don't second guess this. You did what you could, and your son seems no worse for the experience.

Sounds like you handled it fine.

JB

Really the only thing to add is, "Be careful who you show that off to".

I think you handled the situation well by the sounds of it. You're his father so there is no need to feel awkward.

I think you handled it fine except for the whole nudity thing. Put some shorts on around the kid.

I think you handled it very well. And don't put on shorts. You are both male, no need to cover.

I am reminded of when my son was three. He came out of his bedroom naked with a an erection and was batting it with his hand. "Look Daddy! It stands up!" I said, "That's nice, but you should play with it by yourself." He said, "OK!" and ran back to his room.

I appreciate the encouragement from those that responded. I do feel like the whole thing allowed me to have a good and needed conversation with him. Since I never had any brothers or a dad that really did too much teaching or interacting with me growing up, I don't have any frame of reference to draw from.

What is most interesting to me since all of this happened, and I've had a chance to think on it today, is that I feel like I'm the one who grew as much as my son might have. Words that were never spoken between my dad and I were spoken between me and my son, and that has a wonderful fulfillment to it. I don't know how to describe it.

After I posted this morning, and we got on the road again, he wanted to talk some more. He thanked me for bringing him on the trip and said he would never forget it. I said, "You mean you'll never forget your dad had a woody?"

He said, "No, I'll never forget our talks and how much I learned about you and me."
He snickered and said, "And, I'll grow up to be bigger than you."

Then I punched him.

Can you be my Dad?! haha

That is awesome, JR. I'm sure the initial situation was very awkward (especially seeing the look on your son's face, haha) but you handled it SO well and wow, what a blessing it turned out to be as it opened up those great and very important conversations, and at the right age, too. I'm so glad that your son really appreciated those talks. That is going to serve you both as he gets older, knowing he can talk with you about anything. And it sounds like he's a chip off of the old block with his "bigger than you" remark, haha. I love it!

You handled that situation like a champ, Davis! :D (And so did your son, haha)

You did great!  You gave your son a healthy respect and an appreciation of his own manliness!

Brilliant post...you both had a laugh about something that is 100% natural and nobody ended up embarassed or feeling like they'd done something terrible.

The way you handled this is far more likely to produce a well rounded, balanced, normal young guy than reacting in another way (denial/we won't talk about it/it's dirty etc).

Even as a non-parent myself, I consider this to be good parenting. A thousand recommends for the way the situation was dealt with.

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