July 14, 1958.
It’s the approximate date of my creation. This isn’t Sci-fi. It’s true.
The cell that would eventually become me existed around the same time Marty McFly played Earth Angel at the Enchantment Under the Sea dance. I know Back to the Future is fiction but that’s all I got.
No, I’m not drunk.
Hear me out – unlike males and their continuous production of sperm, females are born with a lifetime supply of eggs. All the eggs the baby girl will ever need are made at 20 weeks in utero.
So there I was, July 14, 1958, a cell inside the baby girl that my grandma’s body carried.
I need to stop. This is freaking me out on so many levels.
Emma had “the puberty talk” at school.
That’s fine. It’s doesn’t bother me. I am a prepared mother of daughters. The moment the sonographer said, “it’s a girl!” I decided I would be the naked mom. You know – the naked mom. The mom that doesn’t hide anything from her daughters.
The puberty talk at school vs. what Emma already knows:
School: Everyone knows boys have penises and girls have vaginas.
Me: “Scott, if you think about it – you’re living with 6 vaginas in your house. That’s a lot of emotional crying.”
School: Puberty is when your body changes from a child to an adult.
Me: “Please don’t use the word puberty in this house. It reminds me of my own 4th grade talk.”
School: Breast development is usually the first sign of puberty.
Me: “I know you’re super excited for boobs, Emma. But if you get my big boobs, you’ll hate them. Your boyfriend’s mom will raise her eyebrow at you. All of them. All the boyfriends’ moms give you the look. It sucks. All you want to do is wear that cute tube top all the little boob girls wear.”
School: You will grow extra hair under your armpits and your legs.
Me: “Close the shower door! I’m shaving my legs! Get out!”
School: You will also start to grow hair on your vagina.
Me: “I’m getting a wax. It removes hair. No, not off my legs. No, not my armpits. Don’t worry about it. I said don’t worry about it. Ugh. RIGHT HERE, GIRLS. I’m getting a wax RIGHT HERE.”
School: You may start to sweat more and have body odor.
Me: “Playing soccer makes you stink. Here’s some deodorant. Or wait. Is that me? Smell my armpit.”
School: As your body starts to mature, you will get your period. You have two ovaries and a uterus. Every month, an egg is released from an ovary. It travels down the fallopian tube into the uterus. When the egg is not fertilized, your period will begin and blood will flow out of your vagina. It’s called your period. Your period can last from 3 to 7 days.
Me: “I’m changing my tampon, get out here! Stop it, Kate! It’s not a white thing up my butt. It’s my vagina! Get out!”
School: Most girls can start puberty anytime between the age of 10 and 14.
Me: “Emma, you’re totally getting boobs this summer. I got boobs in 4th grade. If you ever need a pad or a tampon, let me know. Or let your dad know and watch him squirm. He gets them for me all the time.”
Emma doesn’t know about boys. I don’t even know about boys.
In Emma’s school district, 5th grade is the year when the girls learn about the boys. It all gets pieced together. Scott has a year to fess up about voices cracking, hair growing, and what boys really think about girls their age.
I did my part of the sex talk. I did the hard part.
The 4th grade puberty talk wasn’t the hard part. I’ve always talked to my girls woman to woman. The hard part is realizing my body held the cell of our future grandchild on January 18, 2005 the moment the sonographer said, “it’s a girl.”