P is for penis - my dad's penis! Yikes!
Never in a million years would I have believed that I would not only write the word penis in a place where all the world could read (if they chose to), but I'd associate the word with my father.
Oh sure, I've known for a long time that my Dad has a penis - I didn't just fall off no turnip truck! But like most kids, even those of us over 50, I don't like to think of my parents as having or using their private parts. It always gets around somehow to the thought of my parents having sex, and I prefer to believe that all five daughters were daintily left in pretty pink baskets on the front porch by a long legged bird that smelled suspiciously of Vlasic pickles!
Some of this naivete was dissipated in the waning years of my mom's life. As I was responsible for helping mom in and out of the shower and on and off the toilet, the care and upkeep of her privates was strictly utilitarian. After the first tremulous meeting, I was able to do just about any job that was called for. Still, she was a girl; I had a lifetime's knowledge of things girly.
Penises, however, are a different matter all together. Oh sure, I knew that men and women had different plumbing but, like all things masculine, i.e. power tools, toilet flushers and charcoal fires, I didn't sully my plaid jumper and lace trimmed socks by going there! I grew up in an age when some things weren't talked about. I grew up in a house full of women. I grew up closer to the city than the country so the discussion of private parts and how they worked were not commonplace. I don't recall having even a special word for "down there." We didn't need one because we simply didn't discuss it. Imagine, if you can, living in a house with five girls and never hearing the word vagina. I know it's hard to believe but said girls actually went through puberty without ever using the word menstruation, period, or tampon. Go figure!
So there I am in the emergency room rubbing my dad's arm like I might a child's, as if it could possibly make him feel better, as a doctor maneuvered a plastic catheter tube up and into my father's penis heading for his bladder. I started singing "la la la" about the time the word "p"rostate was mentioned.
There's more .....