Birds and Bees

From the archives… I posted this to my personal blog four years ago today. Enjoy!

The other day, I was driving home from softball with my two daughters and their friends. The radio station we normally listen to was all talk, so we decided to sing some old camp songs to pass the time. The nine-year-old suggested we sing “Rise and Shine.” Figuring this long song would get us almost all the way home, we started right in…

The Lord said to Noah:
There’s gonna be a floody, floody
The Lord said to Noah:
There’s gonna be a floody, floody
Get those children out of the muddy, muddy
Children of the Lord

Rise and shine
And give God the glory, glory
Rise and shine
And give God the glory, glory
Rise and shine
And give God the glory, glory
Children of the Lord

Eventually, we made it to the next to last verse and sang it the way we learned at summer camp (which I’ve since learned it not the way most folks sing it, and for good reason!):

The animals they came off
They came off by three-sies three-sies
Animals they came off
They came off by three-sies three-sies
Must have been those birds and bees-ies, bees-ies
Children of the Lord

At this point, one of the girls stopped and asked, “Why do we say it must have been the birds and bees-ies? What do they have to do with the story?”

I responded – clearly not realizing the weight of the question – with a very casual, “oh, you know, sex.”

If this were a movie with a soundtrack, you would have heard that record-scratching sound at the end of my sentence, as all four girls collectively gasped and screeched, “WHAT?”

My 11-year-old shrieked, “All this time we’ve been singing about THAT… and we didn’t know it?”

Umm… yeah.

“How could you let us sing about THAT like that?”

“EWWW. That’s GROSS!”

And from my friend’s 9-year-old, “Exactly what is sex?”

[Imagine me trying to climb under the seat while still driving the car.]

I quickly started singing the last verse of the song, “Now, this is the end of, the end of our story, story,” when my friend’s 12-year-old said, “Oh, I get it, the bee is the boy because he has the stinger…”

Insert more record-scratching sounds here, followed by tons of little girl giggling, and me wondering how we went from a story about Noah and his ark to sex and stingers within a 10-minute time span… such is the life of a mom of girls I guess. :)

P.S. In case you’re wondering (as I was) where we got the whole “birds and bees” thing anyway, Wikipedia suggests several possibilities, including several lines from Shakespeare’s King Lear, as well as a 1928 song by Cole Porter. Regardless of where the phrase originated, I’m sure I will never think of it in quite the same way as before.