Since my oldest child is 20, and the second oldest is 11, I have a brief respite from the trauma of parenting a teen. I have to believe, or I would become suicidal, that I have survived the worst that a teenager could dish out. I mean, it couldn’t actually get worse, right? Right? Much of the, well, joy, of those years came from developing relationships with my daughter’s friends. Having an open door policy meant that kids were often at my house. Here’s a tip: if you feed them, they will talk. Unfortunately, they will tell you things that you do not want to hear.

One day, when my daughter was about seventeen, a young visitor noticed I was wearing scrubs. She was eating, naturally, and I had just arrived home from work.

“So, you’re a nurse,” the girl said. This question always puts me on guard. People either want to show me a body part, ask me about their 110 year-old-father or tell me how much they hate all medical personnel.

“Umm, yeah,” I answered.

“Well, let me ask you something.” Uh, oh. “This thing happened to a friend of mine. And I really mean a friend. It wasn’t me.” Oh, fuck, I thought. “Well, my friend was having sex with her boyfriend, and he was really drunk, so he was just pounding away.” Oh, fuck. ” Well, he accidentally went into her butt. She said it really hurt.” No kidding, I thought, trying to prevent my mouth from falling open in horror. She stopped talking at this point. You’ll note that there was no actual question, so I was floundering a bit.

“Um,” I said.

“You asshole,” my daughter said to her friend. “Shut up.”

“Well, she’s been bleeding a lot since then, and her mom said that was normal after what happened, but I wanted to ask you, too.” Oh, is that all you wanted to know? I thought you wanted to see how I looked when crapping my pants.

“That’s why my butt is for exits only. One way.” And with that declaration, both girls left, and I opened a beer.