A Rite of Passage

My daughter, who is one of the tallest in her class, despite the fact that she is probably the youngest, is still very much a little girl. At nine-years-old, she still sleeps with her favorite doll, Sarah, and takes her on every trip. And as a little girl, she is not even a girly-girl. She likes very sensible clothes, and does not like dresses, except the simple cotton ones from Lands’ End. She has NEVER played with make-up (my Mary Kay heart be still!), nor does she want to wear nail polish. Has never asked. Not once! We’ve only recently begun talking about getting her ears pierced, but even then, she has no real interest yet, and we aren’t pushing her. Let her be young as long as she’s willing. Time goes by too fast as it is; I don’t need to rush my little girl into growing up.

However, she has now crossed one very grown-up rite of womanly passage. She requested, and I consented, to letting her


She had become very self-conscious about her hairy legs. I’ll admit, as a hairy-legged girl myself, I could totally sympathize. Her legs did need a good shave – maybe not at nine-years-old, but only time was holding her back. The hair would have to go, she just didn’t realize it yet.

Well, the day arrived that her little-girl eyes were opened and she fully noticed her hairy legs. So we began talking about it. I gave her all the motherly warnings: once you start you have to do it all the time (in my case, every single day!), and you WILL cut yourself.

All the while, I was trying to decide whether or not I would actually let her do it. She is only nine, after all. I have ages (school grades, really) in mind for things like wearing a little make-up, wearing more make-up, and getting ears pierced. But I had not thought about leg-shaving. I don’t remember exactly when I began shaving my legs. I remember doing it for the first time, but not how old I was (not nine, that’s for sure). I also do not have the same genetic make-up as my daughter, who was cursed not only from me, but also her daddy, in the hairy-leg department.

So, I said that when her legs embarrass her, she could shave them.

She said they did.

I believed her.

She shaved (with lots of help from me).

And was thrilled with the result. Little-girl giggly about it.

Welcome to womanhood, my little girl.

I’m going to need a larger water heater.

About Shelli Bourque

An ordinary girl living by the grace of life in Christ. Adoring wife and mom. Lover of quiet places and uncluttered spaces. Beauty seeker and image maker.


  1. Mary T. Mc says

    I can relate! I started shaving my legs when I was 10. My mom gave me the same warnings that you used but I did it anyway. I was very independant and did it without any help from my mom. I had many little kleenex bits on my legs due to all the little cuts.

    Madalyn is not a "girly girl" either. She's very practical and confident. She doesn't care what everyone else is wearing, she wears what she likes. I am not a daily make-up wearer, but when I do put it on she tells me "Mom, you don't need to wear that! You look fine how you are!" I think Isabelle and Madalyn are on the right track!

  2. Denise says

    My granddaughter SHAVING!!! I think I just got a little bit older.

  3. Pamela says

    Sweet Isabelle is growing up. YIKES! Where does the time go? Thanks, Shelli, for the entry. I enjoyed reading it.

  4. kim says

    Wow, I can not believe Isabell is shaving her legs. It all goes so fast.