Friday, 23rd September, 2015 – Autumn Equinox.
This is the first equinox in a while that I have not gone to some effort to celebrate creatively with some sort of seasonal show. A little too busy and tired today, but I felt the goodness in my heart that Summer had passed and Autumn was officially here. The coolness in the air arrived a little before the date. That happens sometimes, that it feels like Winter arrives in Autumn, or Summer arrives in Spring.
In the same way, you feel this seasonal change, this week we started referring to Elle as being seven years old. Elle is more than a month away from her seventh birthday, but an intuitive motherly “mistake” this week led me to realise that I was feeling her ‘seveness’ come on. Elle and I had been doing verbal maths, and we were working out a problem, based on her age, and for some reason, I just made her seven. Elle was wanting to know how old she would be when her dog died? We don’t own this dog yet, but Elle is thinking it through, down to the very last detail. “Well, you are seven now, and if your dog lives for 12 years, how old will you be when it dies?” It all seemed so healthy, for her to be so accepting of her dog passing, like already she was preparing herself for it, and it was a thoughtful reason to do age maths.
Maya confirmed this ‘seveness’ further two days later when she also told someone Elle was seven. Without actually having celebrated her seventh birthday, those closest to her know, that Elle has just gotten a little older.
With this it seems, suddenly she has become very talkative. We all are talkative most days, but now, Elle is just a non stop talk box. Numerous times today she came to me with ideas for conversations, like she is actively thinking of ways to engage me, just for the sake of talking. “I know Mum, we could talk about Maine, what are your plans while we are in Maine?….” and then she just starts talking about her plans. I asked her today “When did you become such a chatter box?” and she paused and then she said, “I think it happened over night!” Oh yes indeed it did, this is growing up I am seeing, or rather, hearing the expansion in her mind!
Elle came into my room where I was sitting and folding laundry. Her desire to talk was uncovering some wonderful lessons. The evening before we had been out buying Maya a new pair of winter boots. This is a very rare thing for us to do, to actually go to the store shopping, and when Maya was holding the bag in her hand with her new boots in it, Elle was suddenly very upset, and felt that she wanted a new pair of boots too. Her face was streaked with tears, she felt the need so deeply. I tried to explain gently to her that she had more clothes and shoes than any little girl needed. “But it is special to get to buy them in the store and carry a shopping bag, and we never go to the shops and get to carry a bag.” I empathized with her soul, but I knew that buying into her reasoning was not sensible. It would have made it an emotional purchase, and I do not want that being a pattern in their life. “But Maya has a pair!” She wailed. “Well Maya needed a pair, and this is Maya’s special turn. You will have a turn another day.” I said sternly. Her facial expression was not changing, and her arms were crossed and she was refusing to walk, and so I had to take her onto my lap and help her loosen the feeling that was gripping her. “Elle Belle, you need to talk to me about what is happening for you right now. What are you feeling?” I said with a kind but strong voice. Elle is learning very well to connect her feelings and her words, and with a little cross voice she said “I am feeling jealous of Maya.” I was really pleased she said this, not pleased that she was feeling jealous, I don’t want that at all, but the fact she was able to articulate her feelings, was healing in itself. “Well, I said, it is good you let that out, now you don’t have to be jealous anymore. When you think you might be jealous, then you will know that the thing you are jealous about is very important to you. Now I know just how much you would like to buy something from a store and carry a bag, and I will remember it is important to you.” I was very tempted to give her what she wanted, my goodness, it is hard to say no to that sad Elle face, but we left with one pair of boots, and a very good lesson.
I was sitting in my room folding laundry on the bed quietly. Under her own sense of development Elle came and found me because she had something important to say. “Mummy, last night when I was jealous. I was thinking, that was just like that time we were in Brooklyn and I was given the backpack and the mask and Maya didn’t get anything. That time she was jealous of me.” I was very impressed that she had come to me to share this thoughtfulness, and so I replied, “Yes, it is just like Shantideva says, it is trading places. Now you know what jealousy is, and what jealousy feels like. It is very good you were able to see that. Knowing something like that means you are a very smart person.” As this exchange occurred, I felt very conscious how lucky we were to have the time and space for these conversations to grow. If she were at school all day, and this had come to mind, I would not have been there to receive.
I continued to fold the laundry and Elle curled up in the laundry basket and pulled the pile of unfolded clothes off the bed and on top of herself so she was hidden in the basket. “Where’s Elle Belle” she said in the lightest play voice, letting me know, she needed to be found. It pulled my heart strings so tightly as she had not done this for a long time, and it seemed like it was a last hoorah of early childhood before seven claimed her completely. Oh my sweet Elle. I uncovered her angelic smiling face and kissed her, then she burst up out of the laundry basket, and we fell down on the bed in a cuddle of clean clothes.
Elle’s talkative disposition continued all day and into the evening. I was learning all sorts of new things about my daughter. We were very close today, like a little shadow she followed me around the house doing chores. Helping with everything. Helping so much in fact I had to ask her at times to stop helping. When the sun set she said she felt tired and cold so I picked her up and offered to run her a bath. We don’t bath very often, maybe once a week. Our girls are generally clean and so we bath them only when it seems necessary, or they feel like it. Elle was interested in a warm bath and asked me to join her. I obliged and we had a lovely time playing a guessing game while I washed her hair. I hopped out of the bath first and stood drying myself off, when almost instantly I noticed a red mark on the towel. “Oh blood! I have my period!” It had snuck up on me by surprise and felt a little early. “Bleeding on the equinox, powerful!” I said, because it felt like a good omen. I realise then that the intensive bodywork treatment I had with Chloe earlier in the week had changed my vibration and likely adjusted my menstrual cycle too. I normally feel a ripeness the days before, and know it is coming, and then I usually commence bleeding in the early hours of the morning, not early evening. I generally feel it about to come and I wake up to put on panties and a pad in order before it reaches my sheets. I have become very aware and accurate with the sensations, which is comforting and convenient. So this really took me by surprise. It felt good however to see the adjustment in my moon cycle because it mean’t my body was responding to the treatment.
Elle was standing up in the bath ready to get out. I was standing on the bathmat, and she was waiting for me to dry off before she stepped out of the tub. With her interest in all things she asked to see the blood on the towel and so I showed her, and then she said, “I don’t want to be dried off with that towel.” I used this as opportunity for a lesson. “If you get blood on something, you just wash it under cold water straight away and the blood washes right out.” I ran the small section of the towel under the cold water and the blood washed out like magic. “If it is done straight away, there won’t be a stain.” I added, showing her the towel that now looked perfectly white again. Elle was still a little dubious and pulled back, which made me feel I needed to add some more, “And there is nothing wrong with the blood by the way.” I said. “It is fresh good blood!” While thoughts of caution that people have about blood came to mind, in that moment my daughter needed a good relationship with this blood, and so I wanted to help her be accepting. Being connected to your menstrual blood, how it looks, the colour the texture is an indicator of fertility. It is a sign of the quality of your health and if your body is in good shape to hold an embryo. I want my girl’s relationship to a women’s life cycle to start young, in a nurturing and loving way. “But it came from your Vagina.” Elle declared. “True true, but I have a nice vagina!” I said in that voice I use when I am being teased, and in this instance it was pretty funny that I was having to stick up for my vagina. “But it has hair all over it.” Elle said. To this I went silent, I was in disbelief that this age old notion persists, even in the mind of an almost seven year old, that the hairy vagina is somehow dirty. “Oh but I need hair on my vagina, to protect it. A women needs to have hair under her arms and on her vagina for health.” I did not go into details of how important pubic hair is, but of course one day, lessons on lymph nodes and all the rest will be important.
Elle was out of the tub now and accepted the towel around her. “My vagina feels warm.” She said. “Oh thank you for telling me that. I love that we can talk about our vaginas together.” I said. Marveling that this is was the first time she had ever told me such a thing, and it was so incredibly precious to have my trusting open daughter sharing her feelings with me in such a positive way.
Thank you for reading Magnesium Blue.
Words and Photo by Kirsten Rickert, all rights reserved.
13 thoughts on “Jealousy, Menstruation and Pubic Hair”
This is such an amazing read Kirsten,as a mom of two girls this screams to me in so many ways and I will react it again and again and hopefully Ill be able to teach my girls some of it,have a wonderful year,Im looking forward to your posts here Veronika
How beautiful. I was not taught about my body in these natural, honest, and open ways. I have learned to love my body and its rhythms and cycles and can only hope to pass my knowledge along to my daughter as sweetly as you do. I admire your honest voice with your daughters…what you are teaching them has layers beyond what you’ve so beautifully articulated here!
love this Kirsten! When i was young i was thought to keep my peroid a secret. Leave not traces!! I felt it was something dirty and almost something to be ashamed of. I do not want Isa to grow up like that! I walk around the house naked and take showers and baths with my children. But do not remember ever seeing my parents naked… i grew up without much fysical interaction (like cuddling or co-sleeping) and decided it was something i would always do a lot with my children! Big hug for you my sister x
love this Kirsten! When i was young i was taught to keep my peroid a secret. Leave not traces!! I felt it was something dirty and almost something to be ashamed of. I do not want Isa to grow up like that! I walk around the house naked and take showers and baths with my children. But do not remember ever seeing my parents naked… i grew up without much fysical interaction (like cuddling or co-sleeping) and decided it was something i would always do a lot with my children! Big hug for you my sister x
this reminds me so much of conversations i have with lucia… comforting reading your dialogues with her.
Oh Kirsten…this touches me. I have been thinking much about menstruation and Eden. 10 years old already and she has already started to have her own scent. I read what you wrote and it just inspired me, it is time to have a lesson with Eden on what is going on with her own body. Prepare her for what is to come. I am so excited about the Spirit Weavers gathering, because i am also hoping to gain some inspiration for creating a rites of passage moon lodge for Eden and a few of her friends that might be going through the same thing, to welcome them into woman-hood and have it be a warm, wonderful event, instead of feeling like it is something to hide… Timing in this case is everything…
Would you have any books to recommend on the topic of puberty/menstruation? I am studying the chakras to talk about how Eden’s sacral chakra is awakening and how special that can be for her. We did also, on your recommendation get Shantideva, and have started reading it together as well! 🙂
Hi Lili, you know I had a book when I was young, called Every Girl, it was by the same people that wrote the classic Every Women. I am not sure if there is a revised print, or if you can find old versions. My first instinct was to say have your friends talk with her, and have other women in her life, share their stories. I know though as a teen I liked to read and re-read certain passages when I felt questions arise, so I think a book is handy.
I am super excited to learn new things at Spirit Weavers too.
So love reading your words, Kirsten. Thank you for sharing your parenting moments. Such great guidance. xx
I love you, beautiful lady and mom! It’s quite hard to describe in words what I feel when I read your words.
So beautiful and inspiring Kirsten. Thank you for sharing some of your day to day personal experieces with your girls which really help us to understand how beautiful and shine is to be a mother. Big kiss.
Everything about this is beautiful.