I am pretty keen to write a kids book. Only problem is that sex gets in the way. My childhood was infused with sexual interactions with the world and yet if I write about kids being sexual people get all uppity jiggety twitchy about the whole thing. Child pornography they call it when we present the truth about childhood, which is that all things sexual fascinate some of us, just as all things gendered become complicated.
Bill Hensen reminds us of this when he photographs an angel boy, a cherub, not yet in his teens, the tiny penis has an erection, semi-hard. This is a visual slap of a reminder that we are sexy sexual beings from such a young age.
It would be a struggle to write my children without that vague unease that the world of adult sexuality is brushing up against the membrane of their world. Sex is a part of our innocence, it is not a threat to it. Of course, abuse is a different thing entirely, but our own self-paced forays into the world of sexuality should be spoken about in children's literature. We rub our young bodies up against the world when we are children, we touch ourselves and others, we slip into the joy of that pre-orgasmic state whenever we are free from prying parental eyes. Then, later, when we are clearer about our desires we get crushes, we act out, we have dreams, we long for consummation. I understand that other adults want to silence me when I even begin to articulate these things, but I wonder how the kids feel about it. I wonder how it would be to put a kids book of my own making out into the world.