Last summer, I finally broke down and allowed my daughter to get a teal-blue streak in her hair. Personally, I didn’t care about her dying her hair other than the concern about chemicals. Growing up, I wanted to be a punk, all the way down to streaking my hair black with blue highlights and even trying to give myself a mohawk.
The disposable razor didn’t make dent in my thigh-length blonde hair. I tried. I really did. I just had no idea what I was doing.
So, last summer, the Girl got a blue streak. After several months, we went back and she went for purple. Problem: the stylist didn’t bleach the Girl’s hair first and the purple just washed out fairly quickly.
Then, I started working on a play and, for a while, it looked like the Girl was going to have a role in it. Therefore, no more dying the hair until after the play. Only, the part the Girl was playing (a five second cameo) was re-cast to a little boy which was fine because the part required a boy, not a girl.
Long story, another day….maybe.
Anyhow, I promised the Girl that she could get her hair re-dyed after the play. But, since she was no longer in the play, I no longer felt bound by that agreement. So, a couple of days ago, we were going to get her hair dyed until we remembered that the process could last a couple of hours and, given the time we were going to get our hair cut, I realized that we wouldn’t get home until close to eight at night. On a school night.
Nope. Try again.
So, today, I took the Girl to our favorite hair-place and she got her hair re-dyed and I happily graded and then played stupid video games on her iPad. After ninety minutes, I was called to the back where the Girl happily sat in the barber’s chair, beaming at me.
Originally, she wanted cherry red. Instead, she went for a color I couldn’t hope to spell, but I will refer to it as red-orange.
And it’s lovely.
Originally, I just wanted one side of her bangs to be re-done, especially since her hair parts to the side. She would have a nice accent, something that would pop out and emphasize her incredible personality.
She still has the accent we wanted. But the stylist also include a small portion of hair on the other side of the Girl’s face, what is called the “pixie” cut style or something or other. Trust me, I know what the pixie-cut is and I the Girl doesn’t really have a pixie cut but yeah….I get it.
The red-orange also sweeps back a bit further on her head. My wishes were not quite honored, and I frankly don’t care.
My daughter looks lovely. Because within the colors of her hair, both the natural and the fabricated, I see the strength of her personality, the core of her fantastic self and I’m so proud to be her mother.
After the hair styling was done, we ran to Target to check out puzzles. I have pretty much gotten hooked on doing puzzles and have to be careful that this doesn’t become my newest craze/obsession. Regardless, I threw concern to the wind and just went out for a lark with my girl and the sudden joy of the first day of spring-like weather.
At Target, I figured I’d help the Girl find some new pants so we steered over to the juniors’ department and started browsing. Next thing I know, we were standing in front of a rather cute, ivory sweater that had several ruffles of lace attached at the bottom. Several racks further and we found a lacy black skirt. Another couple of racks over and we found a blue diamond patterned shirt.
For years, my daughter has been wearing the hand-me-downs of my husband’s and my niece. And we are grateful for these clothes. Our niece has a gorgeous sense of style and is gentle on her clothing, unlike my daughter.
But, today, it was nice to walk my daughter through a store and not step into the little-girls’ department. It was nice to step into the next stage up for my daughter and start looking at clothing that isn’t meant to be cutsey but is still cute and even, dare I say it, appropriate.
My daughter doesn’t usually wear skirts and dresses. Much like myself, she is afraid of her skirt flying up and showing her underwear. Our solution to the problem has been shorts which are great but have a tendency to look a bit bulky and unfeminine. And this leads me to another point of consternation and that is my daughter is much more feminine that me and I fret about her femininity. I want my daughter to feel comfortable in her own skin and in her own clothing.
But she’s not built like the typical skinny girl and I don’t know that she will ever be built that way. But clothing for girls and young women are intended for willowy, slender girls and anyone who attempts to wear the clothing will either show off more skin than needed or the clothing will stretch and hang on them like mutated scarecrows.
Today, though, I watched as my daughter walked through Target and we pulled clothing off the racks and held them against her body and we laughed and giggled and decided to be a little frivolous and buy something which is more appropriate for teenagers but will still look good on my daughter. We spent nearly an hour walking through lines of clothing and talked about style and what we liked versus what we could wear.
And when we hit the pajama section, we found pants that were gray and had zebras of different colors bunched together. And both the Girl and I laughed and giggled and said we wanted them. And I thought and thought about the fun of matching my daughter when we have never worn matching clothing and thought she would reject the idea.
And when she didn’t, I pulled off two pairs of the same pajama pants and we giggled and laughed some more as we walked to the toy department where she looked at Ever After High dolls and I stared at the puzzles.
We bought clothing and we got sodas and I bought us a bag of Sweet Tart sour bunnies for our after dinner treat.
Today, when we were at home and doing some house cleaning, the Girl turned on the radio and we danced in the kitchen. We would alternate between a congo line to disco dancing to pop-ballroom dancing. And we laughed and giggled as we spun around the floor and waved our arms like mad women and abandoned the anxiety of a normal life for the pursuit of our lives.
Recently, my daughter will suddenly act like a pubescent girl, emotional, moody, snappish. And I worry about the next set of years, worry about the fights we are bound to have and how they will shape our relationship.
And then, those anxieties pale and slip away as she and I join hands, wrap our arms around each other’s waist and dance across the floor.