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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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.

Well handled

you spoke naturally and from truth

man to man

dad to son

your post was more educational to the rest of us than a question

thank you

Thank you, Steve. I was flying by the seat of my pants though in talking with him and dealing with it. My pervasive doubts/fears come from the perceptions of others. How would they interpret the event or discussion if he talks to his friends about it? Again, maybe it's no big deal, but in this day and age you never know. He tells me his friends change clothes under towels at school. When I was in school we had "gang showers" around the shower pole. It's a different generetion of kids/adults than 30 years ago. People seem today to equate nudity with sexuality and God forbid an erection with who knows what? It's a scary culture we live in.

the perception of what others say or think should not be your concern as well as you acted and spoke with integrity and honesty - doing the best you can.

and when he does talk to his friends - the very second they wake up with a woody they will understand the nature of all men - and will know you were their first mentor.

Great job handling the situation and the reality of life and how a son should learn to be comfortable with the natural aspects of being a man. Never had quite that comfortable of a relationship with my father even though we were comfortable being in the bathroom at the same time and I can even remember showering with him a couple times to speed things up. We just never talked about the birds and the bees but were comfortable with our bodies.

You have a great dad!

Absolutely nothing to worry about. I don't think fathers and sons should pass those things under each others noses like fine cigars, but I think modern North American culture could use more comfort in the family and literal intimacy like this. Wasn't too many generations ago mom and dad had sex WITH THE KIDS IN THE ROOM. Seriously. That's how all those huge families that lived in 1-room cabins happened. 

They did? Really?

Never thought of it that way. 

I accidentally walked in on my parents once... their bathroom was the only one working at the time, and I thought everyone was asleep. Not fun.

I have one sister and no brothers. As far as I know, my parents only had sex twice...


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