My parents divorced when I was 11 and my mother moved out of the house. For a while my mother would buy me my monthly “supplies” and drop them off because it was too embarrassing to ask my father.
After a while, my mother said I was on my own to pick up these necessities. In an effort to be sly and avoid any conversation about my needs, I decided to quietly add them to the weekly grocery list for my dad. I wrote “pads” in the middle of the list. I thought for sure I’d be safe. And then the day of shopping came and there my father stood in front of me, list in hand, questioning what I meant by “pads”. Do you mean “sanitary napkins?” Uggghhhh….who says that? I was horrified!! “Yes” I replied, hoping that would be the end. To my dismay, it continued. “So, what do they look like, what color, what size?” It seemed to never end. Wait till he saw some of them had wings!! But once the horror ended, he did his fatherly duty and helped his daughter out, until I made it to high school and mustered the courage to buy them on my own.
I will never forget his sacrifice. I never knew why it seemed so embarrassing and why it was such a big deal to buy the “supplies.” Even now, it still feels like an odd purchase. But we’re all in this together, so what’s the big deal? Why is there such a stigma? But more so, it taught me how I will handle my own daughter’s experience and discomfort when she comes into her own and will teach my husband to be knowledgeable, prepared and sensitive. Just in case….