Perhaps you’ve seen the story about the Ohio mom who recently (fake) pierced her infant daughter’s cheek to protest circumcision.
As much as I appreciated a spirited defense of the foreskin from a person who’s never had one, I was separated from mine at an age too young to form long-term memories.
And I’m OK with that.
In fact, I never gave the foreskin much thought until my son was roughly two months from birth. Shortly after he showed up on ultrasound, his mom and I assumed he’d undergo the usual trim.
I did the research
Weeks later, I was on AOL searching for “pros cons circumcision.” Passion ran both ways. The pro side noted the foreskin’s reliance on daily hygiene, and also discussed cosmetics – an uncircumcised penis has a look that doesn’t blend with most.
Those against circumcision embraced the enhanced sensitivity produced by an intact foreskin. A few swore an unaltered penis was more manly and thus provided a male with greater confidence. I personally dismissed that argument, because if my son defined himself by his foreskin (or lack of it), that was on me.
A memorable conversation
Two weeks before my son was born I met TC, a 30-something father of two who spoke candidly, and in unnerving detail, of his medically necessary circumcision at the age of 27.
I still involuntarily bend at the waist when recalling his procedure.
Looking back, I think the biggest mistake we made was not in that we circumcised our boy, but that we waited too long to do so.
Granted, we didn’t wait 27 years, but we did delay it two months (on the advice of our obstetrician).
We compounded that error by insisting we witness the procedure in which our infant son was placed into a body-shaped indentation, strapped down in a spread-eagle position and, you know.
Our presence was as commendable as it was stupid and unnecessary.
Not once has my son said, “Thanks for being there when they, you know.”
So bottom line, as someone who has actually had to confront this conundrum, I’ll say this:
I respect every parents’ right to make their own decisions and will not judge either way, unlike at least one Ohio mom.
And if for some reason the circumcised infant becomes a bitter foreskin-challenged man, there is an answer: synthetic foreskin restorations.
No, I didn’t know there was such a thing either.