Or at least the potential of sex. Last night, as I was tucking in Geeky Girl, she asked me if I knew what a period was. I said I did and explained that I had one everyone month and that I bled. She asked what she should do if she gets her period in school. A very practical question. I explained about carrying tampons in a purse or in a backpack. And then she said, but you’re in the bathroom when it happens, right? Turns out she thought getting your period was like peeing. I explained how you can’t control it the way you can control pee. Then I told her how I got my first period.
I was on a day trip to the lake with the girl scouts. We were in bathing suits and there wasn’t a bathroom anywhere (port-a-potties only). We were all lazing around on the deck when someone pointed out I had blood on my bathing suit. Luckily, there was someone there with the required materials, but it was a harrowing few minutes.
Geeky Girl wanted to know if she could practice using tampons. I laughed and told her when she got older, she might want to, but that she could also use pads. She asked what tampons were like, so I described them and told her she could look at one of mine sometime.
I’m sure I’m not capturing everything. What struck me about the whole conversation was that she wanted such practical advice: what tampons looked like, how to use them, what to do in school. I never got such practical advice. I had misinformation and myths. No strategies for coping with the many days of accidents and embarrassments. I hope Geeky Girl (and Geeky Boy, who was listening from the other room) will continue to come to me for advice.