So… What should Mom and Dad have done differently? I will weigh in later so my ideas don’t poison the well.
… Read the rest
It was 1963 and I had just turned twelve.
I’d gotten my period a year before and was developing faster than most girls in my class. Where they were still short, rosy-cheeked, and flat-chested, I was six inches taller, growing into a B-cup, and getting acne. It was an awkward, confusing time for me.
Sadly, my mother was pre-occupied with her newest baby and my other eight siblings. Dad was mostly at work trying to make enough money to keep us all in parochial schools. I often felt alone and—like most kids that age–unable to share my feelings with my parents. Thank God for Celestine, our full-time housekeeper who was a sweet, second mother to me. She’d watched us kids outside playing and heard some of the neighborhood kids making comments. She promptly dragged me down to the five-and-dime to buy me my first bra.
“We don’t need those nasty boys looking down your blouse,” I remember her saying.
I know she was trying to protect me, but somehow, I got the message that there was something shameful about me in the word nasty and the fact that I had breasts.
Nonetheless, I knew I was “becoming a woman” and it was (for vague reasons) something special that should be celebrated, and something precious that should be safeguarded. I just wished I’d had an older sister or someone to