I don’t fully track with Frank Schaeffer’s attitude here toward the sins of his youth. However, elsewhere in the book, he expresses earnest regret and recognizes the harm that this childish experience did to himself and his future marriage. The more damaging aspects of this experience (for both parties) are hinted at gently even in this almost euphoric recollection. Although they give me pause for thought (and some definite points of disagreement), Schaeffer’s exposure of and interaction with many of his personal demons are among the most worthwhile passages from Sex, Mom, and God.
One of the great things about The Girl Who Let Me—besides the fact she kept holding my hand the way I hoped some Girl would someday and that “someday” was miraculously today—was that she turned to me and said, “Tu es très mignon” (You’re very cute). Oh, for the chance to walk up my mountainside into that spring day again. I’d like to really talk to her this time. I’d like to ask her who taught her how to keep gently guiding my hand away from her lap and how many babies she has had during the years since we met and whom she married and if her life has been happy and if she remembers me. Mainly I’d like to thank The Girl Who Let Me. Does she, like me, bathe her grandchild toddlers these days while singing “Ba Ba, Black Sheep” at the top of her lungs and then howling with them “like wolves”? Does she draw pictures for her grandchildren of “bad kitties” knocking over plates and glasses while the cats are jumping over a table chasing mice? Is Beatrix Potter’s A Tale of Two Bad Mice also a favorite in her household? Has it surprised The Girl Who Let Me that the best thing that ever happened to her is her grandchildren’s love? Does she feel disconnected from that thirteen-year-old French girl who let that American boy hold her hand? Could she please send me a picture of herself as she was then and one of herself now with her family around her because I can’t remember her face, only that her hair was light brown and a bit frizzy, and that she was so very slender, and that her Nipple was a pale translucent mauve that matched the lavender crocuses on the mossy bank just above where we were lying.