For me, as an “early bloomer,” nothing can replace the understanding and advice of a trusted adult. This could be your mom, grandmother, aunt, or a non-relation like your healthcare provider -- I even got advice and help from the moms I babysat for!
I was only ten and I remember how excited my mom was to see this change happening in me. I, on the other hand, was scared to death. What would the others think of me? There was only one other girl in my class who started before me and they teased her relentlessly.
What if the word got out? Could they look at me and tell? The last thing anyone wants is to be teased for something that is beyond her control, much less for something that is completely natural! Yet, at ten, that was hard for me to see and even harder for me to understand.
Obviously, I developed early. Not long after turning ten, I was sporting a training bra and a bit of a booty. I was also the big sister in my household, which meant that I had two very nosey younger siblings who were very curious about those things under the sink, the bras in my hamper… But while I was wallowing in my premenstrual concerns, my mom had my back. She had a way of letting my sister and brother know what was going on in a level way that caused me the least amount of embarrassment possible. I think she felt that the more they understood, the less likely they would taunt or tease me.
My first period happened on vacation. I had been getting cramps the whole drive to the beach. Luckily, my mom had packed provisions (a.k.a. pads). Once we got there I was a little confused as to why my Mom was at the other end of the beach shop looking through hoodie sweatshirts. She walked up to me with a soft baby blue one. “This color will look nice on you,” she said. “Also it’s just nice to have something warm and soft on when you’re feeling bad, right?” She smiled and walked to the register. I knew she understood. Through her actions and advice, she taught me to accept my body, breathe deeply through the times of discomfort, and to always treat myself well.
Once the summer was over and I was back at school, I knew no one could just look at me and tell I was on my period. I was fine with keeping it to myself. Eventually they would all get there as well; all I had to do was wait for them to catch up. And when they did, how wise I seemed to them.
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