The other day my three year old granddaughter called me up on Face time to say goodnight. Her little face shone in the dark like she was holding a flashlight and made me feel as if I was at camp under the blankets telling tales. Her eyes sparkled as we talked about her favourite nighties, what I was doing, where I was sitting, and where my cat was. Laying beside her in the dark, grinning, my daughter. The sisterhood.
“I can’t touch my Momma’s face, Jamma, because it’s itchy and there is blood.”
“Oh no”, I said trying not to sound alarmed.
“Why is there blood?” I asked. I knew my daughter was suffering from a flare up of her Rosacea and her face was itchy and burning, but I hoped it wasn’t bleeding.
Mommy replied “We went to the bathroom together and I have my period. Vivi noticed I was bleeding and wanted to know if I was OK”.
Vivi chimed in immediately, as if she knew exactly what that was, and declared, “yes Mamma has her period”. She was not at all concerned about this blood once she understood her Mom was fine. I would have loved to hear that conversation.
At her young age, my granddaughter has a thousand questions. Many times I have observed her Mom explain life events to her in a pretty matter of fact way, and delighted to see her little brain produce question after question until she is satisfied.
I offered, “When you are a teenager, Vivi, you will have a period too.”
She replied gleefully, “I know!” Her sweet face was bursting with happiness, like someone had just given her a chocolate. Her mom and I laughed at that, knowing Vivi had no idea whatsoever what a period was, but I think she did understand at some level that she had been let in on something important.
This new generation of children has the opportunity to learn about life much earlier now that parents are more open to answer tender questions without fear or shame, without commuting the facts, or being cute.
For me parenting, and now grand-parenting, are two of life’s most vital privileges. There is no more important work than to help form the next generation into kind, respectful, thinking individuals with strong resilience and good hearts. I am gratified to see my daughter and her husband embrace their roles authentically, with truth and honesty. And it is my privilege to be included.
Thank you for stopping by. Please scroll all the way to the bottom to leave a reply. I would love to hear from you.