Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Bedtime Reading: The Period Book


It's here. Well, not quite. I could possibly have another year and a half before my baby makes the complete transformation. She's very mature, but still so young. I was young too. 10 years old. I had not taken sex education in school yet, and no one had ever talked to me about puberty, the female body, sex. I only knew where babies came from after having a conversation with my neighbor, who was pregnant with her fourth. My first lesson in menstruation was via a PBS special, and I'm thankful. Unlike other girls, I didn't think I was dying. I knew exactly what was happening when it happened, and I was able to inform my great-grandmother that "womanhood had come on me".

I clearly want something much, much different for Emma. Early bloomers often have early bloomers. After asking my grandmother about her experience, my mother's and my aunts', paired with Emma's developing breasts, I'd say that it's the truth. So, now I'm grooming her for a positive experience. We're reading, we're talking and we'll soon be practicing. I don't want her to view getting her period as some kind of curse. I don't want her to be afraid. I don't want her to feel insecure about her body's changes. I want her to see it all for what it really is - a rite of passage, a complexity of coming of age, and an induction further into a vast circle of sisters.

Although Emma will always be my baby, it's undeniable that she's growing up. I'm determined to try to make every step of the way as enjoyable as possible. In true fem fashion, when she transitions, we'll call on our closest women and celebrate with a Period Party!

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