How To Prepare For Your Girl’s First Period
Coming of Age
by DeAnna L’am
My daughter Ellah is 10, and has not started cycling.
It may be another couple of years for all I know, as I started at 12, but I am savoring the delicious process of gathering resources for her, which will be ready and waiting at the never-predicted moment of a girl’s first menstrual cycle.
I feel like a mama bird, gathering bits and pieces for my girl’s womanhood-nest. I’ve been looking for a while now, and the first thing that caught my attention was a mug with Red hearts on it. “Oh,” I thought to myself, “a special MoonTime cup!” I imagined how this could be my girl’s dedicated mug for comforting, soothing teas while she flows.
Next came a beautiful silver Goddess pendant adorned by a Red stone, on a snake-like silver chain. I wanted Ellah to have a piece of jewelery with a strong image of the Divine Feminine. The Red stone was important too… well, it’s the theme here, isn’t it?
A journal is a mast, I felt. I am still looking for the right one, to which my heart will have a resounding “Yes” when I see it! A special pen may accompany it it if I come across the perfect one, but if I don’t, any old pen will do!
A journal is a symbol of one’s own sanctuary of creativity. My intention here is to provide my daughter with a blank slate on which she can write, draw, doodle, or otherwise express herself during her menstrual flow, record her dreams, write stories, or whatever she is moved to create within the private realm of her own sanctuary.
I am planning on a big, beautiful candle (RED, of course :-) ) and some bath salts. I would like to convey to my girl the importance of self-nourishment and self care. The yummy-ness of taking time-out from everyday life and pampering herself while she flows. Perhaps a delightfully scented body lotion will be a great addition.
And now, to the heart of the matter: menstruation itself!
First and foremost I would like Ellah to have a set of wildly colored and imaginatively designed menstrual cloth pads. I have been using cloth for over 20 years, and would never go back to disposables. My primary reason is not wanting to “plug” the natural flow of my body. And the environmental aspect of this issue is as essential to me.
Disposable menstrual products are the #2 biggest clogger of landfills, following closely behind disposable baby diapers, which are the # 1 culprit. My daughter has been accompanying me as I feed our house and garden plants with the water in which my cloth pads soaked. Full of nutrients that will otherwise nourish a baby, menstrual blood is the inner lining of our wombs. Its capacity to nourish ALL life is miraculous, and my house and garden plants have never been happier than when I feed them this life-giving substance.
I’ve ordered a set of menstrual cloth pads for Ellah from a woman who creates wonderful designs with wild prints! When they arrived in the mail I grinned with delight: the fabrics were soft flannels, velvety to the touch. A couple of beautiful floral designs accompanied a few whimsical ones, behind which peeked a purple tiger-stripe pad, and the jewel in the crown were a couple of fabrics with affirmations such as “Lovely Me.” I just about melted when I saw this one!
The pads all came inside a storage bag printed with a Red image of the Virgin of Guadalupe surrounded by Red roses on the front, and interlacing Red hearts on the back. I couldn’t ask for more!
I’ve hidden all these beautiful “goodies” in the back of one of my drawers, and recently went hunting for a decorated box in which to place them all. I headed to a craft store but was met with a cheerful clerk who announced they only carry plain boxes, and if I wanted it to look beautiful, I’d have to decorate it myself!
I was delighted to find a plain cardboard container shaped like a treasure box, and the clerk directed me to the scrap-book isle where I found myself in a visual heaven. I was surrounded by every imaginable decorated paper, sparkles, 3D stickers, self-adhesive affirmations, ribbons, flowers, and what not. Knowing I will paint the box Red, I proceeded to choose a beautiful sheet of paper, drawn with roses and paisleys, some 3D stickers of butterflies (for transformation), moons and starts (for flowing with the moon and shining from within), Red sparkles (I’m a magpie wherever sparkles are concerned :-) and some 3D affirmation stickers, the chief of which says: “Things I Love.”
I paid a fraction of what I would have paid for a commercially decorated box, and went home with my creative juices overflowing. I will now have to carve out some time for this yummy project when Ellah is not looking over my shoulder.
Once finished, this treasure box will be patiently waiting for the day my daughter crosses the threshold into womanhood. A part of me can’t wait. Another part wants it to be a long, long time still. I deeply cherish my girl’s childhood, and want to patiently and slowly savor her approaching womanhood.
I invite you to explore what you need to know about talking with your daughter with comfort and ease. For those of you who wish for more, visit my website at www.deannalam.com where you’ll find a free report and many resources to explore, including my Red Tent page on FaceBook.
DeAnna L’am (B.A.) speaker, coach, and trainer, is author of Becoming Peers – Mentoring Girls Into Womanhood. Her pioneering work has been transforming women’s and girls’ lives around the world for over 20 years. DeAnna helps Moms, Grandmas, Step-Moms, Aunts, and all women with a special girl in their life — to welcome their girl into womanhood with ease and comfort, and become empowering role models for today’s girls. She specializes in helping women reclaim their cycle as source of inner guidance and spiritual renewal, and trains women to hold Red Tents in their communities.