Excerpt: Valerie Bertinelli's 'Finding It'

"Yeah, but I know seeing it and talking about it are two different things." I took a deep breath and sighed. "This isn't fair."

"What isn't?"

"Wolfie's still in bed, sleeping soundly without a care in his head other than what he and Liv are going to do today--and I'm pacing the kitchen, wondering if dipping Cheetoes in peanut butter might make me feel better about not ever having talked to my son about sex."

"Probably not," Tom said. "I think we should take a walk."

"Yeah, good idea."

I had a good, albeit sardonic laugh as I thought of being on maintenance in the context of my life. First, let me say that I wasn't yet on maintenance. I was looking ahead. In reality, thanks to a handful of macaroons, I was up one third of a pound, which meant I still had a pound and a half to go before I reached my weight loss goal. On my blog, I wrote, "Guys, what if I'm on maintenance next week?"

What if I was?

That's what made me laugh.

What was I trying to maintain beyond my weight -- and even that wasn't set in stone?

I made a list in my head, and the things I needed to fix or change outnumbered the things I was content to merely maintain. Who came up with this concept of maintenance?

I realized my life was similar to my closet. No matter what time or year, it could always use a little straightening or cleaning. The job was never finished. Motherhood was the same. The problems changed, but they didn't end or get any easier. At one point when Tom and I were on our walk, I looked up at the sky and mused, "Oh really, God. Why didn't you tell me that it wasn't going to ever end or get easier -- or that the poopy diapers were just a warm-up?"

The following afternoon, I had an opportunity to talk with Wolfie. I found him on the sofa, watching TV. Alone! Miraculously, he wasn't with Liv. The two of them spent more time together than conjoined twins. I seized the moment.

"Hey, I want to talk about you and Liv," I said, trying to sound casual and relaxed as I plopped down on the sofa.

"Yeah, Mom. What's up?"

"We've never officially or even unofficially talked about sex," I said. "You know, the sex talk."

"You mean where babies come from?" he asked.

"No, more like how babies are made."



"Please don't go there," he said.


"It's gross."

"But you're in a relationship."

"It's gross."

I took a deep breath. I agreed with him. I was uncomfortable and embarrassed talking about sex with my son, not that I would characterize what we were doing as talking about sex. But I wanted to make a point. Unfortunately for me, I hadn't thought that part through to a conclusive place I could articulate. In my head, I had only gotten as far as "we need to talk."

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