In the midst of crazy times, sometimes the little moments stand out as rays of sunshine.

The week after we got back from an epic family trip to Montana, Chris’ Dad passed away. He had been diagnosed with cancer several years ago, but this was much more sudden than we had expected.

So there was sadness and grief, and family and planning, and three days completely full of the details one must attend to for a funeral.

The kids were great sports and great help, and bore up well under the unplanned sadness and stress.

In the midst of all that, one of the more fun conversations I’ve had with my kids in a while sticks out in my mind.

The kids and I decided it to watch “Making It”, the innocent happy crafting competition show with Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman. But episode one led to post-show explanations of the concept of sperm banks, thanks to one of the contestants giving an abundance of information about her family background.

After all the explanations were given and questions were answered, I went ahead and recommended to Noah to save his money now and choose not to donate sperm when he’s a poor college kid so that he won’t find himself 75 years old with 37 children, and having to explain that to his wife.

(As an aside: a book recommendation for you – Inheritance by Dani Shapiro. It’s an engaging read and an incredible nonfiction tale of sperm bank mystery and intrigue.)

But back to the kids. (And by kids, I mean my fully developed ones, not any sperm in question.) We also discussed all the ins and outs, such as how you can unknowingly be related to half the town and/or your spouse if sperm banks aren’t ethical with how much they let the same guy’s sperm be used. Having never even conceptualized that such a thing existed, both of the kids found the idea of sperm banks to be completely creepy and bizarre, so I tried to create a theoretical story to show them that it doesn’t have to be weird.

“Let’s take Gloria. Gloria and Pete fell in love and got married, and they both knew that all Gloria ever wanted was to be pregnant and have a baby. BUT – alas. Before that could happen, poor unfortunate Pete got hit HARD in the nuts with a baseball, and he couldn’t make sperm anymore! They both wanted the dream to come true, so was it wrong for them to use a sperm bank if they both agreed to it? It allows them to have their dream of pregnancy and parenthood despite Pete’s unfortunate baseball situation.”

..But Ali was still skeptical. She felt like Pete would always resent the decision, and it would eventually drive a wedge in their marriage.

So there’s that.

(Y’all send thoughts and prayers Pete’s way – he’s still trying to decide whether he should deny his wife’s dreams or risk resenting her in their golden years.)

A few nights later, Noah was standing in the kitchen cutting a watermelon. Chris’ Mom was over, and she asked Noah if the watermelon was seedless.

Noah said “no…there’s seeds. But…. [he crinkled his brow in deep thought.] How do they DO that anyway?! Make seedless watermelons? That’s so weird.”

I quickly replied under my breath, “I guess those watermelons just have to go to the sperm bank.”

Noah snorted, then started hysterically laughing.

And I enjoyed my moment of incredible arrival in parenting – I can now make sperm bank jokes with my kids – and they totally get them.

2 thoughts on “The Bank of Tiny Withdrawals.

  1. The book was incredible. I do have questions which I will keep to myself. The seedless watermelon question has me laughing.

  2. Now there is one topic I don’t think I ever had with my two girls. They are 19 and 17 so I wonder if they already know what a sperm bank is or not? I should ask because if they don’t I’m sure they will feel the same way as Ali does and I would love to hear them go on about it lol!

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