What I Will Teach My Daughter About Women’s Bodies

By Kate Sadowsky
March 13, 2023

It’s impossible to hide my period from my daughter. From that afternoon in the restroom stall at the Berkeley Art Museum when she was a 4-year-old shouting, “That’s a lot of blood, Mom!” to a recent emergency gas-station pit stop during a heavy-flow day, the bulk of big life conversations about women’s bodies I have with my daughter occur in bathrooms.

Now, something new is about to be introduced into these discussions: the ending of my period. I’d been so focused on giving her a positive (or, at least, neutral) introduction to the physical realities of monthly menstruation that I hadn’t realized my side of the story was on the verge of a plot twist. That chapter where my body no longer talks to the moon with the same regularity, where I save money on maxi pads, and where I board my own hormonal roller coaster was upon us.

Since I’m not a particularly ceremonious person, I doubt I’ll create a ritual over the ending of my menstrual flow and the beginning of my daughter’s. My clockwork 28-day cycle has started losing its battery recently, the gears slowing to 29, 30, 31 days. The iPhone app I previously downloaded to track ovulation and avoid pregnancy is the same one telling me that it’s no longer necessary. One day soon, I will log out of the app permanently, and my daughter will log in, as I pass the baton (or tampon) to her in the fertility relay.