Wow, DD was 10 when she got her first period. Sadly, she was away with her dad's family at his house (across the continent) when it started. And since she was dealing with major pain/medical issues at the time, I don't think we did much. I think I did buy her a piece of jewelery.
At the beginning of that school year, I got a presentiment that it might happen soon. Apparently it's often linked to reaching about 100lbs. I was nearly 14 when I got mine, but my heavier-set sister got hers at 11. Anyway, I helped her choose a little bag to keep some supplies in in case it started at school. I knew full well that she would be mortified. So her care package included 2 pads, a little baggie (for dirty undies) and a clean pair of undies.
So far she's doing well (it's been 2 years), but she's a little careless about discarding her used pads - eek. I finally explained to her that if she doesn't want to pick up her stepdad's clean
underwear, how much less does he want to pick up a pair of underwear with a used pad stuck to it?
My mom was fairly open about it, so I felt comfortable switching to tampons pretty early on. Emily switched almost immediately - to applicator-free ones, no less. She might be game for a Diva cup - I'll have to suggest it to her. She also gets terrible terrible cramps and occasionally takes too much Motrin so she feels ill.
: But I think that's hormonal imbalance more than anything else. Up until a few months ago, she frequently got mid-cycle spotting that was almost as bad as a period. Fortunately that seems to have stopped.
Anyhoo, I think the celebration should definitely reflect the interest of the guest of honour! Emily might have been game for a dinner out with me, but otherwise, not so much. Maybe if she was only getting it now, it might be more celebratory for her, but at that point it was not. ETA: in cultures where such celebrations are the norm, then girls look forward to being made much of in such a way, but here, where we try to hide any sign of bodily functions, it would depend much more on your child's temperament and your own family dynamics.
I do like the idea of celebrating boys' coming of age too. Would I be looking for the first sign of "sticky wet spots on the bed" as my high school buddies referred to it?