Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Celebrating "The Curse"

For many woman, their period is considered "the curse". Although I wouldn't say it is always an enjoyable event, I can never think of it as a "curse". Women have amazing bodies that have the potential to create and nourish life and this is just part of the beautiful process. I have always tried to share my period as a celebration of my body's potential rather than a monthly annoyance when discussing it with my daughter.

Several years ago, a friend gave us an article from Mothering magazine about having a Red Party. When an 11 year old started her period, she chose to celebrate it with girlfriends and their mothers. Together, mother and daughter created a beautiful ceremony of gifts, poems and special individual wishes. Although the way this family chose to celebrate this coming of age was a little elaborate for what my daughter would ever feel comfortable with, I love that they made it work for them and initiated this young girl into womanhood in a positive way.

Although most Americans don't tend to celebrate a girl's first period, I love reading about how other cultures celebrate the coming of age as a special event rather than a "curse". Check out this site and scroll down to the bottom. My favorite is the story from the tribe of Ulithi. When a girl starts her period she goes to the menstrual house where she is joined by other women who bathe her and recite magic spells. Wouldn't it be nice if we allowed ourselves that quiet time once a month?

I have something special planned for my daughter that I think will fit her personality and will allow us time alone to bond as women. I don't want things to happen any sooner than they should, but at the same time I am excited to share in her womanhood as it develops. I want it to be a positive experience for her.

The article about the Red Party sparked an interest for Alexander in how boys celebrate their entry into adulthood which I share in this post about Zandyman 2008. When Alexander felt he was ready, he and my husband Steve planned out an initiation into adulthood that was just right for Alexander.
For any women out there wanting something different than the regular disposable pad, you might want to check out these cloth menstrual sites. At first sight it seems like a weird concept, but after using them for a while, they are wonderful. They are a great way to honor both your body and the environment.
Many Moons - cloth pads
New Moon Pads - Ideas for soaking pad pots, pads, and much more.
Diaper Sewing - patterns to make cloth pads at home.