My daughter’s school just called.  I was afraid at first because I thought she’d done something bad.  But no, it was nothing she’d done.  She’d just gotten her period.

Excuse me.

AAAAAAAAAUUUUUUUUUGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Breathe in.  Breathe out.  Breathe in———and breathe out.

Okay.  It’s okay.  I’m all right now.  No, I’m not.

THIS IS NOT HAPPENING!  SHE’S ONLY TEN!  TEN!!!  I KNOW YOU CAN GET IT AS EARLY AS EIGHT OR NINE, I DON’T CARE, SHE’S JUST A BABYYYYYYYY!!!!

Honestly, I am ready to cry.

Thank God we have already talked about this, so it’s not like it came as a shock and she went all Carrie on everybody, but damn.  Damn.  Sorry, but I’m not ready for this.  I’m just not ready.  The poor thing.  She still plays with dolls and believes in the Tooth Fairy.  Curse our omnivorous, factory-farm diet laden with beef and dairy products made from cows injected with superhormones!  It isn’t right for a ten-year-old to slough off superfluous uterine tissue!  What a world, what a world.

Okay.  I’m calming down now.  All right.  This is just a milestone.  It’s not a bad thing.  She’s just growing up.  It’s a good thing.  It’s a sign of a healthy reproductive system.  Healthy reproductive systems are good IF YOU’RE READY TO REPRODUCE!  Aaaaaaa….no, it’s fine.  I should make this a positive thing.  I should mark the occasion, welcome her to the sisterhood, as it were.  Other cultures have some kind of ritual for this sort of occasion, right?  Should I set up a red tent in the back yard?  No, that’s not good.  There must be a better idea out there.  Where’s my Inner Feminist when I need her?

Actually, I just found a web site devoted to menarche rituals.  I’m going to need a tambourine and some sprouts.  Dear God, what have I come to?

Maybe it would be easier if I weren’t on my period.

(Oh, shut up, like you couldn’t already tell.)

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