Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A Hairy Situation

ANo 0ll my life I have envied Barbie. Blue eyes, great figure without having to exercise,  all those great clothes and accessories.  And long, thick, blond hair (Except for the one whom I named Suzie. She got a bob that was absolutely awful when I was going through my phase of wanting my hair short and trying to live vicariously through her since I had to wear a pony tail for dance class).

Barbie's hair has always been a source of jealousy on my part. How is it fair that she gets to be forever platinum and coiffeured while I struggle with my thin non-discript colored hair every day?

So I held out hope for my children.  Perhaps they would have Barbie-esque hair. Just maybe my daughters would have lovely locks.

Emma's hair looked exactly like Shirley Temple's when she was young. Light brown tight ringlets with streaks of blond encircled her precious face. I actually had people ask me if I curled it or even permed it. (I was polite, but really wanted to exclaim, "Why, yes.  I got my two year old to sit still through a perm. NOT.")

Today her hair hangs down her back in gorgeous golden brown waves- except for when she straightens it with a flat iron.

Amy got such thick hair we've had to have it thinned whenever she's gotten her hair cut. It has immense body, and she does nothing to it other than brush it to make it beautiful.

So MommyBarbie's hair has never been anything to write home about. But somehow I went against all genetic odds and produced children with fairytale worthy hair. I was pleased.

Lately, however, Emma has been wanting to change her hair- make it straighter, color it some odd shade of eggplant or fushia. This makes me sad. And yet it is simply another example to give proof positive that we always want what we don't have.

Last summer she had a hot pink streak in the back of her hair that washed out over time and was hidden in the back for family She was elated to be a little rebellious; I was delighted she accepted my compromise.

We make concessions as parents.  Certainly MommyBarbie preferred the pristine hair that blessed my daughter's head. But what are a few strands of pink in the big picture? It wasn't permanent. It was concealable. And it satisfied her desire.

Tomorrow I will be taking Emma to trim up the ends of her hair. I have conceded to a light color wash to darken her hair slightly.  Why? Because as a parent I realize the need for my child to be her own person. And when I give a little, my child is less inclined to want a lot; I give in inches, so she doesn't feel she has to take in miles.

MommyBarbie is silently weeping in the corner. But hopefully she will find solace in the fact that at least Amy's pony tail is still sans chemicals. (Of course, Amy's hair is delighted to see a brush from time-to-time. We aren't yet to the point of breaking out the Miss Clairol by any stretch of the imagination.)

I also hope that MommyBarbie will be proud of what an amazing, independent, level - headed young woman Emma is turning out to be. She could channel her self assurance and independent thinking into something destructive or just plain obnoxious. But she doesn't. She continues to amaze and shine at every turn...

Even if it is with colored, straightened hair...

She is beautiful. And I am happy.

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