Ahhh the period. It ends something and signals the beginning of something else.
Girls and boys alike are sentenced to childhood, simply by birth.
Boys become "men" the first time they use their penis on another human being, generally for the purpose of removing the much hated stigma of "virgin" in exchange for -- they hope -- the stigma of "stud" though I am betting most fall severely short in the stud department. Once this occurs they are sentenced to a lifetime of "manhood" aka. attempting to find a home for their penis. Some find many temporary homes others find one they are comfortable with and move in forever. This is obviously an extremely simplistic characterization of things, so please no hate mail...
Girls become women when they get their first period and thus are sentenced to a life of tampons, pads, cramps and the very obnoxious red river running through them. Thus, when a girl gets her first period, she begins a new sentence that while much anticipated following the sex education classes, neatly disguised under the new name of Family Life or some other such similar moniker, is quite anti-climactic once it occurs.
My little baby, uhm I mean 12 year old, E is a "woman" as of yesterday. Poor kid got it at school and had to go to the nurse for assistance and a call to Mom. She was crying a little, but she was alright by the time I got there. The nurse gave her a handbook, given it had been 2 years since the classes. Then, I was talked into letting her go home for the day. I still haven't figured out how I fell for that! We stopped at the drug store and proceeded to stand in the feminine hygiene aisle, discussing the different types of pads and tampons. Seriously, not the conversation I thought I would be having with the same child who, just the night before had morphed into the biggest raging bitch with a serious streak of disobedience unlike anything I had EVER seen in her. Maybe I missed the clue of what was to come, you think? First thought that came to mind when the nurse said period was holy crap no wonder she was such a snot last night, followed by the next thought of hoping like hell this is not a sign of how it will be over the next few years. UGH! That will not go well.
The memories of K getting her first assaulted me on the drive to the school. I don't remember exactly when that was, but I do remember the "first time using a tampon" drama. That was a hilarious day. My friend R was over and I think we were having a party as well. It was summer and the kids were swimming so when she got her period in the middle of all this, K decided tampon time had arrived. R and I ran like mad to the drug store and bought a ridiculous selection of options for her to choose from. Geez, it had been YEARS since we had to think about size, shape, brands etc... so we were having a time of it.
I was snitching my mom's tampons and practicing from the time we had sex ed class until I got my first period, so I was prepared and knew how to do things. K on the other hand was not prepared. We'll just leave it at her having a near meltdown while R and I sat outside the door dying of the effort to suppress the giggles while attempting to explain how to work it. I had to draw the line when K begged me to do it for her. THAT was simply NOT going to happen! After what seemed like a week, she finally managed to get the job done and all was settled pretty quickly after that.
Needless to say, I was expecting a bit of tampon drama with E. Oddly enough, she did not have the same issues. This kid had apparently already gone to youtube several times and watched (NON-graphic) videos of ladies explaining the procedure and discussing the merits of plastic vs. cardboard. She read her new handbook cover to cover before she popped up and announced she was ready to go give it a try. She was back in just a few short minutes having accomplished the deed on the very first attempt. Kudos to E for studying!
Right before Hubster arrived home, E asked me if I had told him yet. I had not. She surprised me by saying that she wanted to be the one to tell him. Very different from K who said she would DIE of embarrassment if I told Hubster. I did, of course, simply because when she would get whackier than usual he needed to know why. Truthfully though, there was NO WAY I was going to be able to keep that jewel to myself, but he was good about not letting on. So, E announced her woman-hood to him and wore it like a badge of honor.
Let's just hope the beginning of the NEXT sentence that girls must face does not begin for a REALLY LONG TIME. We all know that, while boys may wear their loss of virginity proudly, girls do not get the same kudos. I hope E hangs on to that last vestige of childhood, for the next sentence is an even bigger burden that the one she has just begun.