When I thought I had the cure for AIDS
I was clueless as a child. It seemed like when I asked questions, I mainly heard the answer, “I’ll tell you when you’re older.” I began to try to figure things out in other ways; mainly through my dreams. One issue I really wanted to know about was something called AIDS. I knew it was a sickness, but didn’t know how a person got it. When I asked my Mom, she said, “That’s what you get when you have S-E-X.” I said, “What is S-E-X?” She responded, “I’ll tell you when you get older. It’s icky.” Frustrated, I now had two questions, and many more to come. Still, I was more concerned about what the heck AIDS was.
A few night later, I had a vivid dream centering around the word, AIDS. I could see the word in big black letters on a banner in what seemed to be a large Gymnasium. Many people stood in a line which filled up the entire room. Somewhere in my head, I figured that all of these people must have AIDS. Still not knowing what that was, I watched and saw that once each person reached the front of the line, they were given a drink. I had to find out what was in that drink. I decided to stand in line.
As I stood there, waiting for my turn to come, I remember how excited I was to be in a place where people were getting cured from this mystery sickness. Finally, after what seemed like forever, I approached the front of the line. A woman kindly handed me a gallon of some type of white powdery substance and told me to drink it. I asked what it was, and she said, “Sugar.” As I forced down the sugar, I remember thinking that in drinking it, I would most likely never get AIDS. I also thought how amazing it was that sugar could cure a disease.
Waking up the next morning, I had a new hope for curing AIDS. I still wanted to find out what S-E-X was, but at least I knew the antidote (or so I thought!) Being a very shy little girl, I planned to keep the information to myself until I found out what S-E-X meant. I decided to ask a neighbor a few years older than me. When she told me, I refused to believe her. That was the sickest thing I had ever heard, and plus- my Mom said it was icky! Then and there, I decided I was NEVER doing that S-E-X thing. I also began to think that maybe sugar was not the cure for AIDS after-all.
Parents- when your child asks a question, please answer them in a way that they will understand. Filter out what you need to for their appropriate age. Don’t let them go through childhood thinking that to prevent pregnancy, you press in on your bellybutton each night before bed (like I did), or rely on their friends to tell them what they are longing to know. Oh, and never tell them that S-E-X is icky. I will explain what that did to me on another day. ;)