This one is for all of the Moms out there... if you are a Dad, I have given you fair warning.
Back in the day, my Mom never really talked about "those things" with me and my siblings. We went to a Catholic school, and we watched a movie at school and recieved a 'gift' at the end, which consisted of some maxi pads, panty liners, a calendar and a nice book to read.
That was my education on the birds and the bees and menstruation.
You think I am kidding, but I am not.
I would hide in my closet with my 'goods'... and try to figure it all out on my own. Word on the street is that my younger sister would also hide in my closet and steals my goods because she was too embarrassed to tell our Mom that she started her period.
I am sure it was the generation, but for some reason, our bodies and menses were topics of shame in our house. They were never spoken of, and if we did say something like "Mike's armpit hair reminds me of public hair," we were scolded.
Yes, I was the one who let that one slip out for God and everyone else in the house to hear. Come on, he was the only boy with three sisters. He deserved it.
So now it is my turn to educate. I love when it is my turn to do things.
Uncle Phillip (the name given to a certain twelve year old's period) has visited us for the past couple of months. I know this topic is likely making some of you uncomfortable, but really, it should not because any healthy teenage girl will have this happen. It has been happening for thousands of years, and believe it or not, it still happens today. Crazy, I know.
This past week, she asked me to pick her up some pads. Since track, soccer and summer are just around the corner, I asked, in a text, of course, because I was already at the store, if she would just like me to show her how to use a... wait for it... tampon.
And no, when you use a tampon, you have not given up your virginity. Even back in the ol' days. True.
This is where I smile when I acknowledge that Audrey is sooooooo different than I was at her age.
Audrey texted me back, "Um... sure."
When I get home, her friend is with her at our house. At the kitchen table, I taught them how to do all of the sweet things you do with a tampon. The word vagina was used repeatedly. They asked questions and I gave answers, and we all did so without being embarrassed. I don't even think their faces turned red.
Her friend was seriously not buying into the idea of tampons until she absolutely HAD to... but Audrey was all like, "Ok, I am going to go put it in."
And, that was that. Off she went.
I sometimes talk too open with or in front of my kids about some topics (according to Matt), but I don't think menses and vaginas should be two of them. Show respect to your body and the God that created it, but don't become ashamed of it.
If you happen to hear my five year old son talk about vaginas... who has them... who doesn't... and where a tampon goes... you know why.