This is a mom post. Any and all boys should click away now…unless you’re a single dad, then, please stay. Don’t worry, the rest of you can come back tomorrow.
The oldest girl child in my house was starting to ask some tough questions. Actually, the questions weren’t tough, but me getting up the guts enough to answer honestly…and aloud, well, that’s another story. But alas, she was ready, and even if I wasn’t, it was time for me to put on my big girl underwear and fake it.
I invited some back-up, two of her aunts, to join me. (Thank You, Ladies! I am indebted to you for your wisdom and for the love that you show my girls, not just today, but everyday!) We went in armed with a basket full of all things essential for a pre-teen girl, as we tackled the issues together.
Seated at our kitchen table with iced coffees and Oreos ready to be consumed, this is about how our conversation went…
“God,” I said, “is starting to get your body ready to be a mom. Now, this is not something that’s going to happen overnight. It is a process that will take years, and a husband, to complete. Your aunts and I have bought you some gifts in order to get you ready for all that being a girl turning into a woman entails.”
We slowly pulled things out of our gift basket one at a time. She had been asking a lot about breasts. Not surprising since I am currently nursing her littlest sister. So, we started there.
Bras “I bought you a couple bras. You know that as you grow, your breast will start to get bigger, so that when you’re a mom, you can nurse your babies.”
Paper and Pencil *Moms, feel free to put your drawing skills to the test here. “The other main part of your body that God is going to be getting ready is your uterus. You know that when I was pregnant with your sister I didn’t actually eat her, right? She wasn’t ever in my stomach, although that’s what people sometimes say. Instead, she was inside another part of my belly called my uterus. Your body has a uterine home for babies too. When littlest sis was inside growing, she was surrounded with watery fluid and her belly button was attached to something called a placenta that was attached to the wall of my uterus. That wall is lined with blood, the same kind of blood that is in all of the other parts of your body. Now that God is growing your body, sometime in the next couple years though you’re going to go to the bathroom and you are going to notice that there’s a little bit of this blood on your underwear. It’s okay. It’s supposed to happen. This is what’s going on; every day your body works on getting your uterus ready to be a nice home for a baby. Babies need nice new homes to live in though. So, when your body builds a lining on the wall of you uterus, and you don’t become pregnant, because you’re not married, your body needs to get rid of the lining so it can start to work on another nice new lining, that won’t be used, because you won’t become pregnant, because you’re not married, so your body will need to get rid of that one too. This will happen over and over and over again, about once a month, until one day when you are married, God may prayerfully decide it’s time to craft a wonderfully made baby to use that lining in your comfy uterine home.”
Pads and Tampons “Now, the amount of blood will sometimes look like a lot, but in reality it’s only about two or three tablespoons worth that comes out over about 4 or 5 days. You’ll use these for now to help keep yourself clean.” (Show her how to place the pad.) “I’m giving you pads for now, when you’re older and playing sports or you want to go swimming I’ll teach you how to use the tampons. You’re not old enough for those yet.” *Moms, knowing how to use tampons would have saved me a lot of worry while playing high school sports. Teach your girl when she is ready though and only if you are as certain as you can be that she will come to you if she loses one. You may decide to wait until after her first gynecological exam so that she is a little more comfortable with her physician (yeah, I know, when are you ever comfortable in that position?) if she does have a problem.
A Cute Little Zippered Bag “I want you to keep a couple of your pads in this bag and just leave it in your backpack. That way, when your period starts you can be ready and this will help you be discreet as you take them with you to the bathroom.”
Chocolate Bars “Sometimes when you begin your period, your body feels like you are starving. You’ll want to eat more, and while it’s important to eat healthy, lots of fruits and vegetables, it’s okay to have a little extra treat every now and then.”
Rice Bag or Midol “As your body gets ready for your period each month, you may be a little achy too. You can heat up the rice bag and put it on your belly. If you get too uncomfortable though, make sure you let me know and we can talk about trying some pain relief or some other things like exercise to help you feel better.” *Moms, if you purchase Midol or any type of medicine for your daughter, I would recommend keeping it in your possession so you can discuss the need for it and make certain it is administered safely and correctly.
“How You Are Changing” Book “This is your book, but I’m going to hold onto it. I want to read it with you at various times throughout the next couple years. *Moms, I love this book, but my ten year old is not ready to just dive in unaccompanied. I will introduce her to the various topics when I feel she’s ready. Plus, I can say uterus and period aloud to my daughter, but I’m not quite there with the word erection. This is a process. I’m growing too.
“The Care and Keeping of You 1” Book “This is your book to keep with you. It talks all about all of the parts of your body from the top of your head to the tip of your toes, and tells you how to care for them. As you read through it, if you have any questions, be sure to let me know and we can talk about it together.” *Moms, this is an AWESOME book! I will be ordering volume 2 so that I can read through it and be ready for coming stages.
Deodorant “When you get to be a growing girl, your body will start to sweat more, especially when you exercise. This will help keep your body smelling fresh and clean. You can use this at home each morning, and we’ll put a smaller one in your zippered bag for use at school.”
When we first began our talk and specifically when we mentioned bleeding, I thought she was going to pass out, poor girl. But, by the time we were finished she had tried on her bra, was asking questions, and drawing her own pictures complete with the use of correct terminology. We were able to take a short walk later in the evening and she could barely contain her excitement over all that she had learned. She asked more questions and talked and talked and talked about how excited she was and how much fun she had. She even offered to talk with her brother about girls so that he wouldn’t have to learn it from his bride. (We’ll see how that goes.) She could barely contain herself when we talked about her little sisters too. She wanted to tell them everything she learned at that very moment.
I pray that our time together opened the doors for conversations about all manner of things for her good and to her Creator’s glory! Your girl is a seriously amazing creation. Tell her so.