1. Your Body is Awesome, and Will Change In Ways That Give it Power to Do Even More Awesome Things
I loved this post Lani wrote for The Gift of Giving Life Blog on menstruation, Red and Powerful. I had mixed emotions about starting my period when I was 12. I understood that it meant I was growing up and looked to it with a kind of curious anticipation. But I was also influenced by some negative cultural perceptions that said it was a burden. I was embarrassed to tell my mom, though I don't know exactly why, and when I told her and she told me that was wonderful, I didn't really understand what was "wonderful" about it. I want menarche to be celebrated for my girls, maybe not with a party, but a special mom and daughter day out or something. I want them to understand that (and how) menstruation means fertility, and fertility is so powerful.
2. Sex is Sacred, So We Don't Talk About it With Everyone, but Your Parents are People You Can Always ask Questions about Sex
|wishing on a dandelion with my older daughter|
3. Sex is Extremely Powerful, a Power That Can Be Used For Amazing Good or Terrible Destruction
I don't remember my parents talking to me much directly about sex. I think they did teach me, but not always in ways I remember concretely. I remember "the talk" being kind of awkward, though I think they timed it right because I really had no idea about the mechanical details when they told me. But between their teaching and young women and EFY lessons, I must have picked up the most important parts, because around the time I graduated from high school, I wrote this beautiful poem about what what I wanted the day of my wedding to be like. I wrote a lot of (mostly bad) poetry in my teen years, but I think this may be one of the best...
Love and passion flowing free--
Silent tongues sing in ecstasy.
Hands clasp on to what they've found.
Hearts live for another's sound.
Young eyes sparkle, old one's cry.
Loving parents say goodbye.
As both the product and the source
Of Love follows similar course.
More than objects of desire
Consumed by wild passion's fire
Entering the Holy Gate--
Blessed is the choice to wait.
Today is giv'n the guarded gift.
To new heights a Love will lift.
As the flesh is intertwined,
Two souls are forever joined.
I think some of this I figured out for myself. About five months before I wrote this, I had my first kiss. (I suppose some would cosider 17 old for a first kiss and some young...). About a month after it, that relationship ended, his decision, not mine. As you can imagine, it was a painful break up for me (there was an abundance of bad poetry written about it). I realized that if it was that painful to have given a few kisses to a guy and then have it be over, how much more painful would it be to give someone your whole body in an act of love that I believe is meant to bind people together forever and then have them leave you? It just seemed like it would be incredibly painful to me.
I don't want my girls to feel that sex is "bad," but to understand it is a sacred power that is really, really good when used the right way, but harmful when misused.
4. Dressing Modestly is About YOU, Not about Keeping Other People's Thought's Clean
|My Beautiful Girls|
5. "You Are Capable of So Much More Than Being Looked At"
This is one of the messages from Beauty Redefined's billboard campaign. I want my girls to understand all the things Lindsay and Lexie talk about on their blog. I want them to recognize and reject all the harmful messages about women in the media and to see "beauty" as so much more than just "sex appeal." I want them to know that beauty includes who they are and all the wonderful things they can do!
* dandelion photo by J.C. Photography Utah