My 12 year-old son was insistent before after graduating from elementary to be circumcised before the start of high school. That was last year, and he was only 11 then (he started early). He was anxious that he would be branded supot if his classmates would know. I asked him how it would be known. He answered that they might touch it and from that would determine he was not circumcised yet. Calmly, I explained to him that if somebody attempts to touch him he might as well ask that person if he is gay and that would prevent that person from touching him. And that sort of appeased my little boy (which is bigger than me now).
The thought of my son undergoing the circumcision procedure is really anxiety-laden. I was really worried then that he might be too young for it and could experience trauma because of the pain. It was a nagging question to me – what age do boys really need to be circumcised? Are there no limits like those of girls and women that they should not be pregnant younger than 18 or more than 30 years old, which are risk zones?
I learned that there is no definite time or age for the circumcision procedure. It can be done right after birth which is routine and very common in the US, or eight days after birth as practiced by the Jewish in their Bris Milah ceremony. It can also be until 7 years old in the Islam religion, or never at all which is evident in China, Japan, Northern Europe and modern South America.
In the Philippines, it is a mixture of some of these practices. Some would like their young boys to be cut at once after birth. But oftentimes, circumcision is done before the boys get to high school.
Today marks Daryl’s day into manhood. He got circumcised this morning. Papsie told me that he did not hesitate and walked peacefully from the operating room the same way as he did before he was cut, with these words before they set off to the clinic, “Eventually I will be circumcised and I have to face it.”
Before I finish this off, I would like to tell you my personal belief on my decision of having my son circumcised. It is not because I am religious adhering to the Old Testament’s practice as a sign of the covenant between God and Abraham and his people. It is not because of cosmetic reasons done by the natives. It is more of medical consideration of guarding my son to a variety of diseases. Though this is not proven and opposed by detractors of its veracity, I believe it plus a combination of piety and preparation of my son to manhood. I consider more the benefits than the harm.
NOTE: Done properly, circumcision takes from three to 10 minutes. Each procedure begins with the same first step: the foreskin is separated from the glans, to which it adheres tightly in infants. Next, a clamp is applied to shield the glans and crush the foreskin where the cut will be made, in an effort to seal blood vessels and prevent bleeding. © 1993-2003 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.