Daughters In Danger
I have two teenage daughters. I was a teenage girl myself once. So anorexia is not a foreign concept to me. Especially because the summer before I went to Harvard, I lost 40 pounds myself. I spent my freshman year gaining the weight back, which was hard enough (think 1,600 classmates watching you change a pants size every month). But the really steep climb to mental health was admitting I had almost killed myself.
Although that was 30 years ago, I will never forget the grip anorexia had on me. So naturally I read with great interest a recent piece on Salon by the mother of a nine-year-old anorexic girl.
Yes, nine years old and anorexic.
The essay is one of the best windows into parenting an anorexic girl I've ever come across. Anyone with a young girl under their roof should read it. Here’s a brief excerpt from the nine-year-old’s mother:
“Slowly, the pieces fell into place: odd comments over the summer that I had dismissed, thinking if I didn’t make a big deal out of them, they would pass like so many other random fears and concerns that my children had.