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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Growing Up

Today was a milestone for our youngest child - but a milestone Kyra failed to fully appreciate like most of us when we were growing up. Bear with me while I describe the entire story. Any mother with daughters knows that one day sooner than we hope our daughter will mature into a young woman. This means she will begin to have hair and breast development. The final sign of having reached sexual maturity is the Menarche - it is so significant it has been assigned a medical term! Menarche is the first period. This first show comes with the need to present concrete explanations for why blood in her underwear is a healthy sign. Up to now, everything about blood was connected to pain, trauma, injury, hurts, owies, and problems. Menarche also entails having to explain in more detail how babies are made - or at least we should be trying to have these discussions. That's the beauty of having daughters. Unfortunately, our sons don't have this definitive day of demarcation in which we know they have reached sexual maturity! Few of our boys will blurt out the fact that they had a "wet dream". So for boys this process has to be dealt with in a different manner; unfortunately, too many boys grow up without having any talk at all! But that is for another blog. We have been describing to Kyra what it will mean to have reached sexual maturity in far less explicit terms - but she knows that her body is changing! She said one day that she didn't want to wear a bra anymore and that she didn't want to grow breasts - she liked them just the way they were. We can all relate to her musings in some way can't we! I had also forewarned her of the menarche but that went over her head - futureistic is way too complex of a thought expecially when it seemed like a big negative rather than a positive! The obscurity of growing up and having periods was just something for another era! So her famous line was blurted out: "Don't worry about it Mom!" This is her line when she seems to detect some anxiety on my part. And of course I worry more about her growing up than our other daughters in part due to her special needs. Some day it may sink in that I really don't have to worry about her! And I have to remind myself that ovulatory cycles - even for her - are necessary for bone development, heart health, uterine health, and the whole body wellness. After all, she is still a female and that's the way we are designed - to have periodic fertility cycles. Absence of periodic cycles - or no menarche ever- is not a good thing for female bodies. Today, Kyra came home from school and said: "Mom, I have some bad news!" Oh- oh went my heart! Thinking it was about school, I was totally unprepared for her next statement. She bluntly said: "Mom I have blood in my underwear!" So I asked to see it and sure enough - Menarche. So I hugged her and congratulated her on becoming a young woman! I also said that now we can get her ears pierced - that has been the family tradition! I think its a good one! It offers a positive reward for what can seem like a big negative! She liked the latter suggestion but didn't like the sounds of being a young woman or of having monthy episodes like this! She also didn't like to hear that it might last 3 - 5 days! To protest the big day she cried out: "But I don't want to grow up! I don't like this blood." She also doesn't like the scratchy, bulky feeling of the feminine napkins and the dripping of the blood. I know that because she kept complaining about it through supper, before bed, upon waking this morning, and other times. This is much to the disgust of older brother Patrick who had some not to nice of comments to her and me about the whole affair! Her complaints make me appreciate menopause all over again! And like her, there are many days when I don't really want to grow up! Out of context, my mother just passed away! But it's nice to know that now she has finally grown up fully! May she rest in peace.