Reader story: "Today my heart broke just a little bit."

“Today my heart broke just a little bit…”


Today my heart broke just a little bit – the tiniest little crack that I’d put aside especially for this moment. 

It was the day of her first period.  I knew it was coming, the writing was on the wall and maybe I even felt it just a little bit, the same way I felt her kick before she arrived.

For the last few months I had been watching and waiting – almost rejoicing as she went another month without a sign.  Each time, hoping the inevitable could be delayed if I kept my fingers crossed and ignored the probability.

This month, however was different.  My beautiful 11 year old was on camp when she had an inkling – and perhaps I did too, as sentimental as it sounds, I’m sure I felt ‘a’ moment.

Lying in bed that same night, missing the comfort of all the beds in the house being filled, I knew the time was near – I’d even silently diarised the next weekend to have an extra little chat. 

It’s not the growing up, apart, or even the speeding pre-teen years it’s more the biting realisation of change.  It’s ‘the curse’ that’s upsetting, the loss of innocence or easiness that makes my heart ache just a little bit.

The momentous occasion was news for the whole family – in recognition of the event, her dear dad was directed to have a slug of wine prior to sharing.  Unlike my dad’s generation, he’s involved in all aspects of her life and it was important to make him part of this too.

Remember your first period?

He was even sent for all the paraphernalia – why not I reasoned, had he not supported me through breast pads, maternity pads and all sorts of ‘women’s issues’ that arrive post birthing three babies.

Her little shy upset at her dad knowing was quickly replaced with a little bit of pride – a touch of excitement that someone else had been informed she was officially growing up.


Next to take interest in the events of the day was her nine year old sister who was a little flummoxed by the proceedings.  She quickly retreated with a grin back to her bedroom, taking comfort in her sister’s two years seniority.

And for the lady in question, she took the whole thing in her stride – the child normally so predisposed to drama was only slightly curious and overwhelmingly underwhelmed really.

So of course, I too showed all my self-restraint and basked quietly in the mum and daughter moment.  We shared some questions as she quietly chartered unfamiliar territory.  It was all done in the fading sunshine of an April afternoon and I know I will remember it forever.

It’s her milestone – so today I’ve just gone about my business with stolen moments for my memories of a little girl on a journey.  The moment is etched in time as a new period, no pun intended, arrives in her life.

I know it’s just the beginning of the changes and as she races towards the high school years my heart will be broken a few more times in the months to come.  Once again it’s just those tiny bits I’ve put aside for then.  Graduations, weddings, overseas trips – the times when she becomes who she’s going to be – and of course it’s without me.

Hopefully I’ve inherited the heart of an ox – as two sisters are to follow in her footsteps, and each one holds their own special place just waiting for those chips.  Their stories are yet to come but they’re sure to be as memorable in a different space in time.

Editor’s Note: Thanks to all the Mamamia readers who expressed concern that this article was originally published under the author’s name. We have spoken with the author who has agreed to amend the post so it is anonymous. We appreciate the feedback.

Do you remember your first period? Did your mum put together a momento box as you were growing up?