Puberty was a turning point in my relationship with my own mother.
Maybe it was “the talk,” where she took me out for pizza, and told me, in about 20 seconds….”a husband puts his penis in his wife’s vagina, and she likes it.”
Or when my first period came, while I was home babysitting my younger siblings. She congratulated me on becoming a woman. Seriously? I’m bleeding and cramping, and this is a time for congratulations? Welcome to the rest of your life….it’s going to suck on a regular basis.
Going back even a little further, there was the time when I asked her what a blow-job was. She explained, and then continued to say, as if she were thinking out loud, “I don’t know why it’s called a blow-job, though. It’s really more of a suck-job.”
I am pretty sure this is when my young life began to go downhill….rapidly.
I had my “monthly curse,” and my mother offered to buy me a pillow with embroidery that read, “Good girls go to Heaven. Bad girls go everywhere.”
Commence sexual repression.
I became a “bad girl” who tried to stop herself before I “went everywhere.”
When my own Hobbits began to approach puberty, I envisioned us walking hand-in-hand through fields of wildflowers (cue music), while we lovingly discussed approaching changes in their bodies and desires.
We would have open and honest dialogue, leading to well-adjusted, sexually strong women. They would know that in order to receive pleasure they first had to know what gave them pleasure.
Hobbit #1 approached puberty, and I gently began to break down her barriers….eliminating any possibility of embarrassment. And just as quickly, she began to throw down stone walls, with layers of mortar! No way was she going to let me in!
There are definitely not any fields of wildflowers or gently blowing breezes, but we have found a way. It’s down and dirty.
I start by saying, “I need to talk to you….(pause)….about puberty.”
She takes a deep breath, squares her shoulders, and steels herself. “OK.”
I fire off a quick succession of questions, usually getting no more than one-word answers….”is there anything happening here? there? changes in this? or that?”
We both agree that we have had a good talk, and continue on our separate ways.
It works, and I don’t think I have ruined her, yet. It may not be the experience that I had envisioned, but it is her way and her style.
With Hobbit #2 close on her heels, I am pretty sure that she will be dragging me by my ankles through the flowers, while my head nearly explodes from her incessant chatter and questions.
Hopefully, somehow, I will still raise well-adjusted daughters.