Middle School, Mashed Potatoes and Menstrual Cycles


When I was in middle school, I crept down to the office and asked them to call my dad. He worked at the career center for our district. Not too far away. But I was calling for something big. I was calling because I leaked through my pad and had leaked through my jeans and there were no other options. I was a walking disaster. My mom was at work about 35 mins away tending to patients. My dad, on the other hand, was about 20 minutes away teaching high school students.

The answer was clear; call whoever could get home the quickest.

middle school

I would need to endure the expectant embarrassment of calling my dad to tell him that I had yet again let my period get the best of me. In true saint fashion, the secretary called for me. She explained to my father that I had bled through my pants and the school didn’t have anything I could wear. They were asking my dad could come quickly and drop off a pair of pants before the school day ended. My dad ended that conversation differently than the secretary expected.

Next thing I knew I was gathering my school things and hopping into my dad’s truck. On the way home I can recall my dad telling me that it was pointless to take the rest of his day off to bring me pants and for me to stay in school. Might as well just bring me home.

When we got home I’m sure I skittered up to my room to change. But what I remember from that afternoon was that my dad made me mashed potatoes. My favorite food.

I was in 7th grade, on my period and my dad made my favorite food after coming home from a long day. He called off the rest of his school day to come and rescue his daughter and supply her with exactly what she needed – a homemade bowl of mashed potatoes.

I’ve retold this story of my middle school days many times now.

My dad, the hero. My dad, who came and rescued me from further embarrassment and gave me exactly what I needed when I got home.

I’m sure he made me do my homework. I know he called my mom to tell her what happened. I wasn’t pampered like a princess or pardoned from my chores. My dad simply loved me where I was at.

My dad sacrificed his work day for his only daughter to be spared the horror that middle school can offer. There are moments when he let me learn my lesson the hard way. He let me learn that consequences are unavoidable. But not that day. That day he let Mother Nature guide him. He gave in to his softer side and pampered his little girl. I see this same malleable side when he interacts with his granddaughters. He’ll give them anything and everything. Just like he gave me back in the early 2000s.