More from Grits & Gravy

Thursday, January 9, 2014

for the girls

A friend of mine asked some of her female friends to assist in preparing her daughter for the transitions her body would soon go through as she entered her teenage years. I put off my letter for weeks as I thought about what I wanted to communicate to this brilliant, young girl about her body.

Many of my friends have little girls that I have great bonds with. I'm sure that there will be many more days that await me full of conversations similar to the letter I wrote. To my friend's daughter and the little ones coming after her, I hope I can articulate this over time:

Dear Kiddo,

Welcome to the beginning of many changes your body will go through in the upcoming years. Just about the time you think you have figured it all out, it will shift, and you'll have new things to discover about yourself. There will be days you feel cramping, hot, uncomfortable, swollen, and embarrassed. You'll probably even ruin that favorite pair of underwear that you paid too much money for. Gross, I know. It happens. And you'll never understand why your face has to break out every time you get your period. Oh, and the emotions from hormones, they are evil. All of the awfuls are pieces of a beautiful process.

As you grow older, the females in your life will become the keys to unlocking vaults of information about being a woman. There will be times of awkwardness as your body grows into its intended shape. You will even survive intimate conversations with your future partner. Inevitably, you will compare notes with the girls on your experiences, and learn that you are not alone.

You may even experience things with the females in your life that you feel unprepared for. You will see the pain of a miscarriage or the knowledge she cannot have children. And there will be days that you support her as she waits for test results and all that those will mean. These may even become your own experiences.

I hope that the days that you love your body will far outweigh the days you feel like it is alien to you. Whatever you do, love your body like you love your best friend. Love what you see in the mirror and all of the things that are unseen. I hope you feel just as much like a rockstar naked as you do in your favorite outfit. Embrace what others see as imperfections as pieces that are unique to you. Own it and become comfortable in it. Cherish your body because it can do incredible things.

Always loving you,
Aunt Jessica/Jess/Morgee/JMo/J

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