I read this piece on Gawker about various famous people's experiences with "The Talk." And in it I learned that Jennifer Weiner has talked about "your changing body" with her nine year old. Which got me to wondering about MY nine year old.
Laney and I have had talks before. She knows how babies are made (if you are wondering, I highly recommend a book called It's Not the Stork for your little ones). But tonight she got out of the shower and walked around naked, as is her wont, and something about her little girl body just seemed so on the verge (an expression from my mother). So we had a chat tonight about the hair that would grow and the periods that would come and the like which led naturally to what will shortly become a mantra in the Bon household:
Me: Who owns your body?
Me: Who else owns your body?
Laney: No one else owns my body
I'm going to start doing it in cheer form. I'm going to make up an interpretative dance to go with it. I'm going to print up bumper stickers for her skateboard. As the FSM is my witness, I'm sending that child out into the world with the fundamental understanding that she has sole dominion over her body and that stands equally for the boys who try to Nice Guy (tm) her or the queen bees who critique her weight or the GOP fuckwits who try to wrest reproductive control from her.
And then I told her she could come to me with any questions, any questions at all, and walked away hoping that she would.
And then I sat in the bathtub and cried and cried.
It's ridiculous, you know. Laney is a little girl. She has a couple of years left to be a little girl. But I remember so well when she turned three and my friend, Claire, said, "I can't believe she's three already! Well, of course, she's just three." I'm pretty sure Claire said that last week. I write about this a lot, don't I? My mother says I've always felt the passing of time too acutely.
Ah, but you know that thing they tell you when you're dealing with babies? That thing about how the days are long but the years are short? After a while the days get short too. They hurtle by with the fierce force of a speeding locomotive.
Sigh. Sunrise, sunset, right?
(In the interest of full disclosure I should also mention that I am PMS-ing like a MOTHERFUCKER right now. This is a side effect of menstruation that I have not yet shared with Laney. She'll probably figure that one out on her own.)