Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The scripting of a life

My fifteen year old daughter had a big problem last night. She couldn't figure out if she wanted her hair to stay the blond color I let her dye it at the beginning of the summer, or if she wanted to go darker brown, much darker than her in-between shade of natural.

With a hair appointment looming (roots are coming in OMG) and magazine clippings all over the bed she was begging for me to make the decision for her. All but one of the photos were of different shades of light blond, the one that was different was a deep, dark, brown. Uh oh... time to parent. Crap! I am so exhausted. Can't they just let me feed them and shelter them? Must I do all of this philosophical stuff myself? Yep. I must.

I knew the problem right away. She wants to have dark hair. Dark hair like me. Dark like her younger sisters. She wants dark hair because she loves the color of her eyes (greengreengreen) and she understands that the contrast might make those eyes more luminous. BUT, she already announced to the whole world "Blond I am!" and there are many, many friends who are expecting a tow head on the first day of sophomore year. High school can be a bitch, really. I remember.

I had no choice. I had to pull out the big guns. I try to avoid these, because scripting a life can be dangerous work. One can do damage. One can break trust. But she was moaning I tell you, moaning!

"I like the brown." I said.
"Me too!" (Really? I had NO idea) "Mom, are you sure?"

"Look. Why not be the girl of the many colored locks? Why not dye it brown and if you want to, just dye it back next summer? Hell, announce it to the world! Be that girl who is playful, who tries different things, who allows herself to shift and alter. Be mysterious. Be ever changing."

I could see it working. She liked this chameleon idea. She needed the script adjustment. Battle fought and won. And still....

Yesterday she was a baby, with natural soft brown hair that fell loosely about her shoulders and sparkled in the sunlight. The girl back then didn't' wear dark eyeliner or pink lip gloss, she was shiny and new. I wish I could open up a door and see her and kiss her. And STILL....

How I love the ever changing her. And I can't WAIT to see her in a deep mahogany brown. One, thankfully, we can touch up from a box.

18 comments:

  1. Ah, I often tell myself to quit being so anxious for the days when my kids are older, because I'm going to miss them being so little. Hard to remember that some days though :) My stepson came to visit us yesterday (he lives about 3 hours away with his mother). He recently graduated from high school....I kept flashing back to how sweet and little he looked in his tux when I married his dad....now he's a very handsome young man sporting a goatee and tattoos.....*sigh* where does the time go? :)

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  2. I remember when mine was 15, 10, 6.... Now she's nineteen and even though you wouldn't think she'd need me to help in the decision making department, she does. And even though I sigh and shake my head, I still help! Tell your daughter to go for the brown! I've had my hair every color of the rainbow and I don't even remember what the natural color looks like! Hair dye junkies--raise your hands!

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  3. Smart momma, giving her new face-saving script. :)

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  4. Oh, this brings back such memories. I was just thinking last night it was 12 years ago, the summer before my daughter started her sophmore year in high school, that we spent the lovely summer evening lying on chaise lawn chairs watching the darkening sky for meteors and chatting about life, boys and hair color. Cherish these moments. They are gone all too soon.

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  5. You are one smart Mama to help her so gracefully in what is the most ungraceful period of our lives. I gotta say this brought back memories of the summer I was 15 and decided to change my bleached blond hair to brown. I thought since it was soooo blond, I needed the darkest possible brown dye to counteract it. And I also thought I would like to leave a streak. I emerged from the bathroom looking like a skunk. And I had to go to summer school like that. Next day, I bleached it back. When you are 15 change is good.

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  6. I can relate to this post. My daughter will be a sophomore, too. She is also having issues with her hair color. They grow up so fast, don't they? I think you gave her great advice!

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  7. oh my goodness I have to keep a photo handy of my youngest, to recognize. Every time I see her,,different color,,different style..

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  8. Sounds like you handled it really well! My DD's are still young enough that I can script most of the time! They still like my opinions and advice and think I'm the most beautiful momma! Sigh. Wish it could last forever! :)

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  9. Gosh I remember those HS hair days!!!! What memories! I'm still having hair issues, go figure...

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  10. Michelle: The do. Grow up fast. And sloooooowwww.

    Mandy: So, wait, she isn't going to grow out of this? ;)

    Angie: Who knew you were a sociologist too!

    willow: I am glad it sparked a memory. And it sounds like a lovely one.

    Tricia: I will tell her that!

    LW: More in common? Hmmmmm...

    Glnroz: I like her. Mysterious.

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  11. Jody: They will. They stay true.

    T Anne: Me too! And what is UP with the middle age acne? Sheesh!

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  12. Ooh! I love the girl of many changing hair colors. I AM that girl. Love that you're this kind of mom. I hope that's the kind of mom I end up being when my daughter is 15.

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  13. You're an awesome mom. How wonderful of you to make this easier for her and help her find a way to feel confident. Way to go!

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  14. Um...they grow up? WHO told them it was okay to grow up? And where do these people live? I WANT TO KNOW! My babies are still babies. Yesterday I could have listed them both on ebay, but reading your post I think I will hug them a little closer and enjoy the freshness of their blonde whispy locks. Who knows what teenage boys will one day want to do with their hair. I hope I will be as wise as you when the day comes.

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  15. Love this. I also love that your daughter came to you for help in making her decision.

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  16. Your kids are very lucky to have you. :) I love how you handled the situation. So often we forget that we have the power to define ourselves rather than be defined by others. :)

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  17. You're such a good mom! My kids are on that teenage precipice and I'm terrified for all the issues and drama. We have so much already. :) Of course, hair will never be an issue at my house. My husband's hair was blue when I met him. Then orange. Then white. So, we like rainbow hair. :D

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  18. Oh I have 2 Tshirts with been there and done that with my DD's. I have one with, I am NOT going down that road with my son on it, if you are ever in need! LOL
    Oh the memories, and guess what happened recently?
    Hi mum, only me calling from the UK, should I dye my hair a different colour for my wedding, or shall I keep the shade he is used to? .. KEEP IT DD1, I WANT TO GET YOU MARRIED OFF!...ACTUAL WORDS... Oh, I would keep it that shade darling, he loves your hair colour, and will look forward to your hair all pretty with a veil. See they still ask the question later on in life!LOL

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