Up Close and Personal
Here is some very personal information related to my attendance at Camp Ataloa for the second year, the summer after eighth grade. And by the way, not to be misleading, each of these camp experiences was for a two-week session. I would never have made it for more.
I would be fourteen in just a few weeks. Since my twelfth birthday I had been eagerly awaiting the arrival of my period which, to me, meant that someday I could have babies. I know that sounds corny, but that was my thinking. I went through many, many boxes of sanitary pads, always hoping that “my friend” would arrive that day or night.
By the time I was thirteen, all the girls around me were smugly announcing that their “friend” had arrived, and there was always much whispering about their monthly experience. At roll call in gym class, if you had your period, you answered “observing” and sat out of the activity. Would my turn ever come? I began to think it wouldn’t.
Just two months before my fourteenth birthday, I had my physical for camp. When I looked at the form the doctor had filled out, I was chagrined by the line “Have menses appeared yet?” And his reply, “NO.” Believe it or not, I went home and used ink eradicator to remove the No and fill in Yes!
Finally, just a week before that fourteenth birthday, I was able to run through the house screaming , “I got it. I got it” My mother, born in 1890, a true Victorian, was somewhat flummoxed and just said, “Sh, sh. Your father will hear you.” Frankly, I was so relieved and excited, I didn’t care if everyone in the world heard me!
© Dorothy C. Judd
Next post: Monday, August 26th. (Off to Alaska and Seattle. )