The big first period event recently happened for my niece, who is 13. I’m mulling over the idea of sending her some card or private memento for this mixed blessing rite of passage into adulthood. But of course, menstruation and body awkwardness is a really fraught thing, and well, my family is not that great about positive body image. My sister treated it as a non-event and only mentioned that my niece is driving her crazy because of being a 13-year-old. My mother made private jokes about my sister trying to slow down my niece going through puberty (not that 13’s late), as well as some remarks about her acne that a teenager might get sensitive about.

On the other hand, way back when my period finally arrived, my family did try to celebrate and it was horribly embarrassing - my memory is of my dad eating his daughter’s First Period Brownie with a frozen expression of dismay on his face. But I was 14 and was horrified by everything to do with my own body at that point.

So, women of GT: any particularly good or bad experiences surrounding this? Would you rather have ignored it or treated it as a coming of age thing?

ETA: Thanks for all the feedback. My niece is a pretty private person, so I think I’ll take her out for another occasion later on without any bodily function talk. My sister spent years teasing me about my teenage body, until I finally grew enough emotional armor to get over the shame stuff in my mid-20s. I’d really rather not contribute to more of that!