Mama Taught Me

Mama Taught Me

I would always hear stories from my friends,
About how they were surprised the first time they got their periods,
And how it affected them,
And how they accepted their changing bodies.
Thank God for my mother,
May she rest in peace.
When my body started to change,
And show signs of puberty,
My mother explained to me what menstruation was,
What happens exactly during it,
And why it happens.
She explained to me in a scientific way,
How intercourse took place between a man and a woman,
And told me the differences between haram and halal relationships.
She answered all my questions simply and scientifically.
She did not try to intimidate me,
Even though she was a housewife,
And from a conservative family.
But she was well-educated in that area.

She told me what to do the first time I get my period.
“If you’re at school,
Go to your teacher and whisper in her ear:
“I just got my period for the first time.”
And she’ll know what to do.”
And that’s what happened.
I was in the bathroom one day,
And I had the symptoms my mother told me about.
I was not scared at all.
On the contrary,
I was happy that I’d grown up,
And that I could have a baby in the future like my mother said.
I told my teacher,
And she sent me to the school’s doctor.
She gave me a pad.
“Do you know how to use it?” she asked me.
“Yes, my mother taught me,” I replied.
Then I did as my mother told me.

I went home.
Only my father was there.
I was very happy,
So I told him what happened.
I couldn’t wait until my mother got home.
My father felt unsettled and embarrassed.
“That’s good.
Tell mother when she comes home.
She’ll know what to do better than me.”
And he gave me a pat.

My mom came home with a bag.
“I got you something,” she said.
She took me to my room,
And showed me a soft bra.
It was my first bra.
My father was passing by and he saw us.
“Just in time,” he said.
He chuckled and went on his way.
“What happened?” she asked,
So I told her.
She was so happy.
She hugged me,
And told me not to talk to my father about these things,
Because he’s a man and it would embarrass him.
She told me that he doesn’t really understand these things,
And that I should ask her if I have any questions,
And if she’s not there in case of an emergency,
I should ask for help from any woman I know and trust.

I wasn’t aware of the importance of what my mother did,
Until I heard my friends’ tragic experiences.
Thank you, mama,
For making accept myself as a woman,
And for not letting me be ashamed of my body that God created.
May you rest in peace.
May God forgive you,
And reward you.

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