"I just noticed the book laying on the passenger seat, and I hope you don't mind me commenting," she said. I was going through the drive through at Dairy Queen, with my two daughters in the backseat. The worker at the window was in the midst of saying something to me. I looked over at the passenger seat, where a book about various issues facing female youth (body image, puberty, periods, eating disorders, how to manage relationships with friends, etc) sat. My wife is using that book when it comes to guiding our two daughters through the minefield. She went on: "It is so great that you are teaching your girls about all that stuff." She started to get misty eyed. "My mother never taught me anything about any of those issues, and I really wish she had. Things would have been much better for me. I know that was kind of personal and hope you aren't offended...I just had to say it." This was a young adult, maybe in her early to mid twenties. Though I was surprised and caught off guard, I didn't mind at all. I simply muttered that it was my wife handling that part of my daughters' lives for the most part, that she was the one going through the book with the girls, and that I couldn't take any credit for it....which is true, but I didn't have the wearwithal to take it any deeper than that. Still processing it all, I simply drove off, letting the opportunity pass by.
But afterwards I chewed on the encounter. It really struck me, because the woman was almost brought to tears just by the sight of a book cover. She became misty eyed while talking to me. It must have really touched a nerve with her, which made me think: is her experience really common? Are a lot of moms intentional about all that, or do most punt and leave it up to schools, friends, and google? I don't know...all I know is my own family, and I can't take much credit for it all. I simply married up.
So I'll ask you guys this one: if you are a woman, did your mom ever directly teach you about the various female topics listed above? If yes, did that help you? If not, how did that affect you? Send us your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org.