At first I figured my girlie was pranking me. I mean, Janet is your standard working Mom of many. The kids are all in stuff like soccer and gymnastics. She belongs to the Junior League. We organize fundraisers together. So, I called her.
“Hey, girl. Just got your invitation.”
“Oh, good! Can you and Zoe make it?”
“Um, what exactly is this?”
Pause. “A PERIOD party, silly! To celebrate Emily Anne’s first menstruation.”
“I know I’ve been out of the girl loop with just having the twins for so long, but the period party thing. Is this…done a lot? Is this a thing?”
Impatient sigh. “Erin, you’re not going to be all immature about this, are you? Menarche is a crucial developmental step in a young woman’s life. She deserves to have her community gather round her and celebrate her fertility.”
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I fought to swallow down a frantic giggle. “Where’s the gift registry?”
So, Janet hung up on me and I went over with pie to soothe her feelings. And she gave me permission to write about this because she knows I’m stupid and that you’ll agree with her.
Is this a THING? We DO this, now?
I actually know a group of groovy New Age girlies that I can totally see wanting this Big Step. They weave their own skirts, reek of patchouli and dance nude when the moon is full. I guess I just never saw this coming into the mainstream. And the whole thing is fraught with confusion. Who do you invite to your little girl’s Menarche? Her gym class? Uncle Steve? Grandpa?
Look, I know this is an important developmental step. And my Mom was great with a calm and matter of fact explantion of what was to come in my developing body. She smiled, gave me a hug and threw me a box of feminine hygiene products. “Have at it, honey. Let me know if you have questions.” I was good. But if Mary Helen had tried to throw me a “Period Party” and I showed up to a house full of friends and relatives and a big cake, I would have walked back out the door and planted myself in the middle of I-15 at rush hour with the hope it would be over quickly.
But I’m going. And I’m taking Zoe. And this will raise questions from my toddler about what “that is?” and I’ll answer them. But I’m secretly longing for the old days when I just had to find something in the Monster High dolls toy aisle. Because I still can’t get anyone to tell me where Emily Anne is registered for a gift for the Period Party.
Does everyone do this? Am I just out of the loop on raising girls?