Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Girls Are Going Through Puberty Earlier And Earlier

Rude Awakening

In Colorado and nationwide, girls are starting puberty earlier and earlier. But the real concerns begin once they grow up. 


Im dying. I’m dying. I’m dying.

I kept repeating the words as I stared at my 10-year-old reflection in a bathroom mirror at Bonanza Steakhouse, a cheap buffet-style restaurant in my home state of North Dakota. It was 1990, and outside the door I could hear my sister’s volleyball teammates chattering. I tried to picture my parents smiling tolerantly at the middle-schoolers as they ate their iceberg lettuce salads with ranch dressing. How was I going to break their complacent reverie to tell them that their youngest daughter was deathly ill?

I stepped out of the bathroom, walked over to my mom, and placed a hand on her shoulder. “Mom, I have something to tell you.” I paused, letting the world slow down for one last moment. “I’m hemorrhaging.”

She didn’t burst into tears, faint, or tear at her hair. She snorted. I was aghast. How could my mother respond so casually to the news of my mortality? When she stopped laughing, she turned to me and said, without preamble: “It’s your period.”

In retrospect, perhaps I should have known. After all, I have older sisters, and my mom was a sex education instructor, so videos about changing bodies were as common in our house as cartoons are in others. My mom carried plastic, ahem, parts in the trunk, to the perpetual embarrassment of my brother and me. I knew what menstruation was, but I also knew I was way too young to have it. This was something older girls dealt with. Not fifth-graders. Not me.

For the rest of the story:

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