My youngest daughter, aged 7, hugged me yesterday and yelled in an amused, surprised way: “Mom, there’s hair under your arm!”

And I told her about female bodies, how they grow, develop, change. That it’s absolutely normal that hair grows at certain places. That we can choose to remove it, and choose to let it be. That right now, I love it to be there.

And I tell my girls that it’s normal that their bodies get curves. That the straight line from their shoulders to their hips will look more like a violin than a plank. That their booties grow fuller.

And that it’s all absolutely normal and beautiful. I tell them many times every day how beautiful I think they are. I name the changes I see in their bodies. And again I tell them how natural and beautiful it is, how they turn slowly into women.

And I show them my grey hairs, my striae and scars. My soft belly. And I tell them that I love it all. How normal this too is. How all our bodies are on this journey of ripening and aging.

And I tell them how beautiful we all are.

Amazing art by Tyler Feder