Tuesday, July 25, 2017

I Wanna Grow Up...

There's been a lot of talk about puberty lately.

For Jordan at least.

It came about because they had a talk in school recently about when it was necessary for girls to wear undergarments. The bits of information she came home with were hilarious and sometimes bordering on misinformation rather than information.

She read the Judy Blume books that deal with it; her favourite being Margaret who wants and NEEDS a bra and talks about getting periods. After the talks in school, she's gone back to reading them again. And I re-read it too because all I remembered from it was the chant, "I must, I must, I must increase my bust!" The charming thing about the book is that even though it's more than 40 years old, the anxieties mirror so clearly what goes on in the mind of a tween today.

Last week, Jordan got into the car and was very, very giggly. Her teacher had passed around a bra for the girls to look at and fiddle with. She went into great detail. One would have thought she had never seen one before!

Two days after, a growth spurt miraculously occurred in class and spread like wildfire across all 40 girls. All of a sudden, she was reporting that every other person in class had started wearing a bra too. I think it had to do very little to do with hormones and very much to do with all the discussion in class. Words are indeed powerful. So naturally, Jordan asked if she could have one too.

                                   Image result for are you there god, it's me margaret

I gave her the same spiel my mother gave me. She'd have her whole life ahead of her to wear a bra. It would be hot to wear one under two layers of uniform as is. She didn't need to be in such a hurry. But there was no stopping her.

I guess if I thought hard enough about it, it was like that for me too, dying to be all growed up and wanting to have all the trappings of being a grown up. Envious of those taller and more mature than I was at that age. And like Jordan, I didn't listen to my mother when she tried to caution haste.

So, here we are. I have a Margaret at home now and I'm pretty sure she's asking God the same questions that Margaret did and promising to be good in exchange for some growth in that area.

And to counter all the misinformation she seems to be getting at school, I have ordered her some books to set the facts straight. The American Girl series for puberty is aptly titled The Care and Keeping of You which I really like because it really does normalise the entire process and answers questions in ways that make sense to these tweens.

While we wait for the books to arrive, I shall just sit back and watch this unfold, quietly lamenting the loss of my baby girl and the appearance of a full-fledged tween. 


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