August 31st, 2017 marks the day every mother dreads. My then ten-year-old was marked a young lady and she blossomed into a butterfly. For a year prior to that, she was already experiencing mood swings, headaches, odd eating habits and sometimes even cramps. She also started to see the world differently. She didn't tell me this. She only asked certain questions that I knew only an emotionally heightened. thought conscience, psychically changing little girl would ask and then pull back as if she didn't ask a thing.
August 31st, 2017 was perhaps one of the saddest days of my life. I remembered all the reasons why it is painful to be a girl. I remember waking up at night holding onto my sheets while I twisted and turned because my abdomen hurt so much. I remember waking up to a mini pool of blood because I didn't know how heavy I would be and realized I had ruined my underwear, pants, sheets, and comforter and yes, the bed.
August 31st, 2017, my daughter called me, and I missed her call. I was at a new teacher orientation for the new district I had been hired at as an English teacher. I knew something was wrong when my husband's call went through and then I noticed that I had several missed calls and two voicemails. I went to the hall where there are beautiful murals painted by the students/artists of the school. That (the image above) was the mural I stood in front of when I heard his voicemail.
Voicemail: "Babe, Naillil got her period."
Second Voicemail: "Hi mommy Bendicion, um when you get a chance to call me please call me. I have my period. Today is August 31st, so that means, I'll get it late in the month. (What ten-year-old pays attention to the actual time of the month they get their period?!) "Again, I have my period. Hopefully you can call me."
I cried while all the thoughts of pain, suffering and womanhood had started to creep into my angel's life. I stared at the picture and prayed to God she would never change her sweetheart.
I knew this was going to be a lengthy process. It was hard for me as a 10 year old when I got my period.
I knew it would be even harder for her. I was a mature 10-year-old. My daughter is still (one year later) very naive and has a hard time keeping up with daily routines. I still have to tell her to wash her hair, or even use mouthwash and floss when brushing. Like most ten-year old's anyway (which is why I felt she wasn't ready).
What I learned throughout this entire year is that every year is crucial from her.
We will never forget what happens after you blossom into a butterfly. You never forget your crushes, the songs that come on the radio on your favorite and worst days, the rain or sun that glared on the windowsill. Most of all, you will never forget how badly you needed a mom.
Lillian likes to share her thoughts. Sometimes her experiences are shared here and on her podcast; True Lessons
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