“Mom, why did I have to color a vagina?”

This post was originally published in March 2014. It’s one of my favorites. The big son is now 14, just hit 6′ and is still growing…

The conversation that day…

The big son just got home from Middle School. We usually talk about how the day went. He’s a thirteen-year-old, good natured kid. He does well in school and to the best of my knowledge has never been in trouble, except for one Pre-k incident, when Miss L told him to sit at his desk because he was giggling, then he cried the rest of the day. The big son is currently taking an accelerated Living Environment class. His class recently entered deep into the mysteries of the reproductive chapter.

The big son asks in quite a frustrated tone, “Mom, why did I have to color a vagina?”

Me, “What colors did you have to color the vagina?” I’m trying not too laugh because he’s really quite annoyed.

Big Son, “Does it matter?”

Me, “That depends.” I’m stifling giggles as we continue conversing.

Big Son, “We had to color the vagina-red, the uterus-orange, the fallopian tubes; also know as the oviduct-yellow, the ovaries-blue-” Big son flashes his colored vagina pictures.

Me, “Wow, I don’t even remember all those parts,” I look down at my pelvis, “geez, I hope everything is still in there that’s supposed to be.”


“Oh, c’mon I’m just kidding.” I look at the vagina picture the big son is shaking in his hand and think, wow, all the worrying I did when he was little because he couldn’t color in the lines. I’m proud of the big son’s vagina picture.

Big Son, “It’s not fair Mom, the penis picture is so much more embarrassing.”

Me, “Why?”

Big Son, “From the side view, the penis picture looks really bad. You don’t see anything from the vagina side view.” He shows me the penis diagram picture too – perhaps he thinks his mom doesn’t know what a penis looks like.

Me, “Well, how about the female torso, side view?”

Big Son, “What about it?”

Me, “The breasts from the side, you can see those.”

Big Son, “They’re not important.”

Me, “Why not?”

Big Son, “We didn’t even have to color them.”

Me, “Well, they might be important someday…” (this response I keep to myself)

Wurd Warrior/acrylic

coverWurd Girl created for a long ago illustration class. Textbook is one I designed (interior and exterior) and art directed while at Prentice Hall. I did not do the cover art

I’d like to give a shout out to schools dealing with these important topics. Besides the personal conversations that parents have with their children, many schools shoulder the responsibility of informing our students with important, yet sometimes “uneasy” topics such as reproduction. Educators do this masterfully and professionally without the giggles…

Darn that Steed with the Apple in Its Mouth

I admit to being somewhat tech-challenged. I know the reason why and I’m trying to face my fears. Almost sixteen years ago I held a corporate job. I loved nearly every aspect of that insane day-in-and day-out grind. I was the Art Director for Prentice Hall Education, High School Division. I came in at an entry-level position, working my way up the corporate rock wall and can tell you there is so much more to ten-pound textbooks than meets the eye.
inside credit page

We designers were using Pantone markers when from over the horizon a white steed with an Apple in its mouth and a saddle-sized CPU on its powerful back came charging. Our world was rocked. We all were gifted shiny, new Macs.



I learned how to navigate my way around easily enough. I was designing, enjoying and somewhat reckless in obtaining ‘real’ knowledge. My designs looked as they should. I didn’t worry about  production issues because there was a separate department for that and for serious computer issues there was yet another department filled with brilliant techies. As both these departments grew more  savvy, I went the other way. I was learning management stuff and was no longer hands-on.

I left Prentice Hall when my heart knew (as it had for some time) I wasn’t cut out for work and raising my first child. I’d overestimated my multitasking prowess. All the color-coding in the world couldn’t help me (though I did color-code my infant daughters toys for a while–I know, I know…).

Fast forward past two kiddies. Instead of a stay-at-home mom, I become a stay-near-home mom. I return to writing, drawing, painting and all things creative. I find my way back to the beginning of a new path. I return to the heavy, black Mac Powerbook G3 I’d proudly purchased before leaving Prentice Hall. I jumped into Word and tinkered around in Adobe. At the first sign of trouble I yelled out for Tech Support but no one came. I’ve been yelling ever since.