Well, it’s official: my baby girl is now a young lady. She just started her menses and I’m still coming to terms with it.
It’s not as if I didn’t see it coming. For the past year, I’ve been witnessing my daughter’s body slowly change and develop right before my eyes. I remember last spring when she approached me, with great excitement, to show me how her breasts had started to swell. We soon headed to the Justice store where she tried on and selected training bras that were “just right”. And with every ½ inch her height has increased, she loves to stand next to me and say, “I’m getting TALL-ER, mom!!”
So when she came to me the other day with “the news”, I wasn’t initially shocked. I was actually thankful – thankful that we were both home together — that she wasn’t at school and I wasn’t at work. I was also thankful that a good friend told me about two years ago that her daughter had started her menses, and she suggested that I be prepared and have the appropriate products on hand. I promptly ran to Walmart to get these items and they had been stowed away in my bathroom cabinet ever since.
After I spoke with my daughter and went into detail about what to do and what to expect every month, we read “Just for Girls: A Book About Growing Up” together and spent the rest of the afternoon discussing the female body and the amazing things it can do. We also talked about intercourse, that it is something VERY, VERY serious and for ADULTS ONLY, and that her body should be respected at all times. We’d had similar talks about the subject before but now it was more earnest, more real.
So far she seems to be taking it all in stride. She even sang, “I got my per-i-od! I got my per-i-od!” and danced around the house, rejoicing in her premature womanhood. But of course when the reality of dealing with cramps, headaches, spotting, mood swings, etc., enter the picture, I’m sure she’ll be singing a different tune very soon. 🙂
This is a natural rite of passage for all girls and, as I said, I knew it was coming. But now that it’s beginning to sink in, I think the reason why I’m having a difficult time with it is because it signifies the teenage years that are waiting in the wings in the near future and some of the challenges that come along with it: insecurities, disappointment, self-doubt, heartache, worrying about her body image, etc. Being a young woman can be wrought with challenges.
My prayer is that within her woman-in-progress body will remain the light and beautiful spirit of the sweet, goofy, little girl I will always love and cherish. I hope that no matter what obstacles she may face, she will be able to retain some of the joy and innocence that makes her eyes sparkle and her heart giggle, and that she will always know how smart, kind, unique and beautiful she truly is.
Of course I realize my wish is no different than any other parent, but looking at the ironic juxtaposition of Kotex pads and Monster High dolls in my daughter’s room, I can’t help but feel a little sentimental. But as I always tell her, “No matter how tall, old or grown you may get, you will ALWAYS be my baby girl.” And she will; she’ll always be my sweet baby girl.