Destination Puberty

Not all of our journeys lead us to foreign lands. My daughters are currently one week into a four-week course on puberty. My eldest was dreading the first class, claiming that she didn’t need it since she’d sat through her 5th grade health class. I ignored the eye roll and told her we were going anyway.

She loved it.

Wolfman JackBy the end of the class, she presented me with a Puberty Shopping List. This included “shaver.” She has no need to shave anywhere, but wants to be ready just in case she wakes up one morning looking like Wolfman Jack.

She raised her hand at least two dozen times through the course of the class. No other student did this – the second most talkative kid in the room was her sister, who raised her hand three times, one instance of which was to announce the following:

“When my mom,” she pointed to me, “when she exercises, her shirt gets really wet.”

She stopped short of telling people how much I smell after exercising, for which I was thankful. But the ugly truth remains.

I’ve been on a run of hot yoga classes lately. I’m convinced that I sweat more and smell worse than anyone else in the room.

This morning I thought, The room smells like onions.

I wondered if I was the onion.

But no, it’s more complex, more nuanced than that. It’s not just an onion, it’s an onion and ham sandwich with a layer of crushed, dill flavored potato chips in there, and it’s been left a bit too long inside of a fifteen-year-old’s locker.

More reassuring than disturbing, I promise. Because despite the funk of the room, an inevitable waft that will occur when you have a dozen or more people sweating with vigor for an hour, at least mine wasn’t the only odor.

Still, I’m pretty sure I was the onion of that recipe.

Puberty class is important. My children will learn about body changes (odor included) and image, relationships, health, sex, and self-esteem. Though they may have my onion-flavored genes to deal with, at least they’re excited about it.

When I got home from yoga, my daughters were just getting out of bed. The first thing my eldest said to me, with great enthusiasm and a clap of the hands, was, “Hey, Mom! Let’s talk about breasts!”

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