There are six words that scare the crap out of me. Six little words that change things in a BIG way. Those words are: my daughter is on the pill. Why am I scared? After all, the reason she’s starting the pill is because of ‘dysmenorrhea’, or bad-ass cramping. The poor kid has missed a day of school almost every month because her cramping is so severe. We went to the doctor just after her 17th birthday. He put her on birth control pills in the hopes that they will alleviate some of her cramping. Aleve, Tylenol, Ibuprofen, hell even Pamprin didn’t work for her. Now we’ll try the pill.
So why am I nervous about this? Because just BEFORE her 17th birthday, she began seeing someone. A boy. She’s in a committed relationship with a boy. A young man. With a penis. The young man (I’m pretty sure) has a penis. And my daughter is only 17. My baby.
Now, I know that she’s not going to run right out and have the sex. She’s a smart girl, and she stays really busy with sports and band, so it’s not like she’s got free time just falling from the trees, but the fact is, she is on birth control now. So if the sex thing DOES happen, she’s not going to make me a grandma. I’m okay with that, but still scared shitless of the fact that some young girls might see being on the pill as a ‘have all the sex you want for free’ card.
What about the STD’s? What about crabs? What about body lice? Anything can happen!
Wait, she’s not seeing a homeless hobo living in the New York City sewers. She’s seeing a nice, respectable young man, a senior in high school like her. With a penis (unlike her). It’s the penis part that scares me. I want him to keep that thing away from her.
But she’s 17. She’ll be leaving for college before she turns 18. Do I want her to have her first experience now, when she’s still at home and can confide in me that she’s okay or she’s not okay? Or do I want her to wait until she’s away at college, where she’ll need to rely on phone calls and texts for support?
Things were so much easier when she was smaller and all I had to worry about were kissing boo-boos, braiding her hair and making sure she wore pants. Now I’ve got penises to worry about. So many penises. She can braid her own hair now, she wears pants now (thank goodness) and the boo-boos are no longer skinned knees and elbows. They will be more like broken hearts, and broken hearts, as I have learned, sometimes hurt the most. I want to be able to be there for her when she has joyous experiences and I want to hold her hand through the not-so-happy moments too. I also need to learn when to let go and let her make choices, good or bad. That’s so hard!
I know that she’s growing up, and I have to accept that growing up means more than just aging and celebrating birthdays. It also means facing adult challenges and responsibilities. I’m just not ready for that yet. Hell, I may never be ready. I need to get ready, because my little girl is on the pill now.
She’s covered. Let’s just hope that if and when it does happen, he’s covered too.