When I First Found Out

Grandma Kc wrote this on June 20th, 2014 20 Replies

This is a special memory from my own childhood.

I was a very naïve child. I grew up on a farm and I knew about animals – especially dogs but at age eleven no one had explained he facts of life to me.

It all happened one afternoon when the teenage daughter of one of Dad’s very close friends was babysitting us. It was her Mom who used to give me those perms! Either mom or Dad had dropped us off at their house and she took us and her little sister for a walk downtown.

We stopped at the dime store. I don’t remember the name of it but they had rows of parakeets and canaries in cages. I loved going to that store. You could spend hours with those birds. They also had a huge nut counter. I think they must have had candy, too but I only remember the nuts. I bought some warm cashews and my sister bought pistachios. I never could understand why she liked green nuts. I still don’t like them! In the aisle behind that nut counter were the “45s”. I remember spending a lot of time standing there and going through those records!

We walked all over town that day and at some point one of us had to go to the bathroom so, we headed to the gas station. All four of us piled into the large bathroom and took turns. Margie went last.

What I saw then scared me to death. I guess she just assumed that I knew about such things because her little sister who was years younger than me knew. I was terrified but I said nothing. I was sure she was dying!

I went home and asked my mom if she knew that Margie was dying? She seemed so annoyed and asked me how I had gotten that idea. I explained to her what I had seen in the bathroom. I don’t know if she was glad to find out Margie wasn’t dying or panicked because now she had to explain things to me. I don’t know if I was relieved to find out Margie was OK or terrified to find out what I had to look forward to.

Kc at 11 standing in her classroom

It was very traumatic.

20 thoughts on “When I First Found Out

  1. Kristi

    My youngest daughter (who already knew about such things) was in a restroom at Disneyland when she overheard a distraught girl cry, “MOM! . . .” and the probably-equally-distraught mom reply, “Already?!” There never seems to be a convenient time to find out!

    Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      Thinking the babysitter was dying was bad enough, I can’t imagine how scary it would be to have no idea what was going on – and worse yet as Disneyland!

      Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      Our daughters and their daughters have not been traumatized the way we were – and that is a good thing!

      Reply
  2. debra@ HOMESPUN

    Sounds just like my childhood! Didn’t know a thing until it happened and then was handed a book. And was shocked to find out that babies did not come from belly buttons and that men had THINGS…was totally grossed out, lol!

    Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      Everybody keeps talking about a book – I don’t remember any book! Even when my mom did tell me I know she never mentioned anything about boys having different parts! I don’t think she really explained the why behind it all just that it was going to happen and last forever!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Reply
  3. Sandy Siegel

    Ugh, this was a terrible way to find out about such a sensitive topic. I think I learned about it in health class in school. I was always a tomboy and this knowledge did not make being a girl any more appealing. And as if that wasn’t bad enough .. I distinctly remember the day my mom took me shopping for a training bra. We came home and I ran to the barnyard, sat on the fence and cried. How could I possibly go through the rest of my life wearing this God awful thing?? Boobs?? I didn’t want boobs!! To this day, I hate wearing a bra. It’s a necessary evil though.

    Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      Oh you poor thing – I can just see Mom taking you shopping and I can see you sitting out there crying. I remember when my mom took me bra shopping, too. 6th grade and I really didn’t need it… Women really do have so many more burdens.

      Reply
  4. Lisa @ Grandma's Briefs

    Great story! Either my experience wasn’t too traumatic or it was SO traumatic I blocked it out, for I honestly cannot remember. I have a feeling it may be the latter, as I was determined as a mother to make it as NON-traumatic for my daughters as possible. We threw parties for each girl, giving them a box of pads and a black forest cake in celebration when their periods first started. Oh, and we danced and sang to “Girl, You’ll Be A Woman Soon.” (Yep, even my husband joined in. We didn’t invite anyone outside our family, though, for THAT would have been traumatizing.)

    Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      There is a video going around about a girl who pretends she got hers and her parents throw her a party – and they DO invite her friends! How humiliating would that be? I’m betting you’ve blocked it out but you sure did a nice thing for your girls. I don’t remember telling Jenna but I do remember her and her friend asking me some questions I didn’t want to answer! Your own daughter is one thing but the neighbor girl is another!

      Reply
  5. Launna

    Isn’t it silly that no one talked about it… I was told when I was 12 and then I told my sisters… I promised myself and lived up to the promise that it would always be an open door policy where my children could ask me questions and I would answer them honestly… It was an odd era to grow up in as no one really spoke about it…

    Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      My mom was a nurse so you would have thought she would have been more comfortable with these subjects but I don’t think she ever expected I would find out before she explained things. It really was frightening and I’m glad your clued your sisters in.

      Reply
  6. Joyce

    Yikes. I can imagine the distress. But I’m glad it wasn’t you who first experienced it – with the panic that it was YOU who was dying.
    My mother waited until both of us were home alone. She handed me a little book. I read it, totally puzzled. I gave it back to her and asked, “Does that mean you are going to have a baby?” She whispered her answer loudly, “NO!” and snatched the book away. I think I had my questions clarified at school when the public health nurse appeared to meet with girls only – and the boys got an extra recess!

    Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      OMG – I can just imagine the look on your mother’s face – NO! As for learning about it in school, I don’t remember it ever being discussed until 9th grade health – a tad late! AND there were boys in the class!

      Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      Hi Joyce, thanks for stopping by AmaraLand. I do think moms today have gotten better about talking to their daughters “before” the big event. Even when you know everything it is very traumatic!

      Reply
  7. Rhonda

    If I had found out that way I would have been terrorized too. I learned in 5th grade. My mom and I attended a movie at the school when I was in 5th grade.

    Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      I remember watching a movie in 8th grade health – with the boys present! Now that was traumatic! I do think moms today are doing a better job of talking to their girls. Maybe because so many of them found out the scary way – when it happened!

      Reply
  8. KImberly

    I had four older sisters, so it was just always a part of my life and why my name is Kimberly, from Kimberly Clark written on the Kotex package- lovely. I had a poor friend who wasn’t told in a timely manner and called her mother at work to tell her through hysterical tears that she believed she was dying and she recalls her mother laughingly sharing the news with the whole office, who had a good laugh at her expense- awful.
    That is the one part of teaching intermediate grades that I don’t particularly enjoy. Most times, the parents just are not ready to accept that we’ve arrived at the age. I have a couple of good books that I make available and tell the parents I really want them to have the talk before I have the talk.

    Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      Seriously? They named you after the Kotex package? I have some friends who named their 2 children (Morgan and Jordan) after their 2 favorite wineries and I thought THAT was terrible!

      I think most of the moms from Amara’s class got together last year and decide it was time to have the talk so they did it year over the summer. That way when they went back to school there wouldn’t be a little girl explaining it to her friends. They would all know. Moms today seem to be getting smarter.

      Reply

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