Friday, December 4, 2015
I was at Meijer the other day, picking up a few things with my husband, Gary. I needed some panty liners, so we went over to that aisle, and I picked up on something right away. A young woman had either gotten her first period or her mom was preparing her ahead of time.
In front of all the colorful boxes and packages of pads and tampons, a woman stood with her young teenage daughter. The daughter kept looking around (anywhere but at the packages in front of them), and she noticed us coming.
She nudged her mom and said something, so her mom leaned in and talked in a quieter voice. She pointed at a couple different pads, probably explaining the differences. I'm pretty sure Gary picked up on this significant event and the daughter's discomfort because he backed away down the aisle while I grabbed my liners.
As Gary and I walked to the checkouts, I smiled at him like this:
He said, "Hey, don't make fun of her."
"I'm not!" I said. "That was precious. It was her first time shopping for that stuff."
I'm pretty sure it was only precious to me because I'm a mom now, so I saw the experience from a mom's perspective. I mean, I have a son, so we won't have this exact experience, but he's going to grow up, and there will be talks and such. And it will be precious. And probably really, excruciatingly uncomfortable for him just like it was for the daughter at Meijer. Just like it is for every teenager, right?
I remember when I got my first period and the first time I bought tampons with my parents. Both unpleasant experiences.
But now that I'm a mom, I see my own mom wasn't trying to embarrass me when she told her friends at work that I got my first period. She probably just thought it was precious. Still, like, can it, mother, but...I get it.
As different as the experience is for the parents than for the teenager, parents still need to handle all this with a certain finesse. You know, try not to scar their child for life.
So, parents, how have you handled (or will you handle) your daughter's first period? How did you navigate what was, I'm sure, a totally awkward experience for her? Please share in the comments, on my Facebook page, or find me on Twitter @Je55ieMullin5.