Excerpt: Valerie Bertinelli's 'Finding It'

Later that day, after working up my determination and thinking about what I wanted to say, I called Wolfie at his hotel. He was waiting for Matt to finish bundling gear before they headed to the arena.

"Do you remember the talk I wanted to have with you after Thanksgiving?" I said.

"Maybe," he said.

"The one about sex," I said.

"Ma!"

"Have you spoken with your dad about it yet?"

"No."

"Good," I said. "I wanted to get to you first."

"Ma, it's gross -- and whatever happens between me and Liv, it's none of your business."

"You're right," I said. "That would be gross, as you say. I don't want to know about the two of you. This isn't about Liv, in fact. It's about you." I paused momentarily, waiting for him to cut me off. He didn't-- and I knew right then I had him and this was my time.

"Look, I just want to tell you that as far as you and Liv or you and anyone else that comes into your life goes, it's about your heart and hers. Don't give your heart and self away easily. But when you do, don't protect it to the point where you don't open yourself up to your feelings. Always be kind and treat other people the way you want to be--"

"Ma, I know," he said, cutting me off. "Treat people the way I want to be treated. You say it all the time. I get it."

"One more thing," I said.

"What?"

"Babies come from storks."

Relieved, I told Tom about the conversation. I don't know if it was helpful, but I felt better.

A few days later, all of us rendezvoused at the Van Halen concert in San Diego. Before the show, I pulled Ed aside and asked him to speak to Wolfie about being responsible and sensitive in relationships. I didn't come right out and say he was serious about his girlfriend and we needed to make sure he was well informed. But Ed understood. I saw him take it in, think about what he should say, and then he looked at his girlfriend Janie, at me, and at Tom, and nodded.

"Got it," he said.

I was nervous about what he might say, because he could be crude even when trying to be sensitive. But I felt like I had run out of options. God help me, I turned it over to Ed.

A little before the show, I was standing with Tom in the hallway outside Ed's dressing room when I thought I overheard him having the talk. I shushed Tom and inched closer to the doorway. Tom was right behind me when I turned around and we heard Ed tell Wolfie to listen to his heart, to be careful of who he gave it to, and then "when you give it away be careful of their heart, too."

Then he added, "Treat each other with kindness."

I gritted my teeth at Tom.

"That's what I tried to tell him," I said.

"Shush," Tom said. "They're still going."

We listened closer and heard Ed finish: ". . . and be wary of all the sluts and skanks and whores who will want to be with you because you play in a band and have a famous last name."

I shrugged. I wouldn't have said that last part. But it was essentially the same talk I had tried to have. I wanted to praise Ed, but remembered that we were eavesdropping and quickly grabbed Tom and guided us away from the door. Then Wolfie strolled out and into the hall. He was in a good mood.

"Hey, Ma," he said.

"What's going on?" I asked.

"Nothing," he said. "Just talking to Dad."

I watched him walk back to his dressing room. All of us were learning about the facts of life.

Notes to Myself

Drink more water! Thirst is different from hunger. Thirst for knowledge, thirst for health, thirst for love . . . lots of water.

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