This was the conversation I was dreading—the one probably every father dreads—and it was happening much earlier than I’d expected. I’d been steeling myself all day for it; I knew neither of us was ready. Watching my boy bound out the doors of his school, all smiles and sprints—I’m free!—I wished he’d slow down. The week before, he ran face-first into a wall of his own curiosity, saw things he shouldn’t have, things which he certainly would’ve kept to himself if I chose to let it go. I wondered what his expression was then.
At 9 years old, Oscar could have easily passed for 12 or 13: He stood 5’2” and weighed 125 pounds. You had to really look at his face—with its lingering bits of chub and soft, trusting eyes—to remember how young he actually was.
“So, I have to talk to you,” I told him, once we were inside the car and away from other ears.