I took the kids to get their hair cut a couple of weekends ago. Usually My Honey cuts the boys hair at home, but he's been busy, and after a weeks worth of reminders, The Scientist was still left looking like a wookie. When I announced that I was taking him after school, Ms. Thang said she wanted to get hers cut too. She had been toying with the idea of cutting it pretty short (chin level) but in the end, she didn't go that far.
Anyway, I was a little reluctant because usually I leave the hair stuff to her step-mom because both she and Ms. Thang share the whole fashion/hair/makeup gene that somehow eludes me. Hair is just..hair!lol but she pushed a little and I quickly gave in. Looking back, I should have sensed that this was more than just a hair cut for her. She started saying things like, "You don't have to tell the lady anything mom, I will tell her what I want." making it clear that this was something she wanted to do herself. Ironically, I had already decided to let her do it all on her own because I have NO idea what to tell hairdressers when it comes to what I want, let alone what someone else does lol. I didn't even tell the lady what to do with The Scientists hair. I made My Honey do that, and Ms. Thang actually suggested a few things for him, like leaving it long enough on top to "spike", which I admit was totally cute, but of course he slicked it all down the minute he got out of the chair. Change is not really his thing. lol
I took a few glances in Ms. Thangs direction as she got her cut, but mostly I just listened from afar. I was actually a little envious and proud at how easily she explained what she wanted, and how quickly they were chatting away and making small talk. Ms. Thang really has a nack for making friends and feeling comfortable with just about anyone. When it was all done with, Ms. Thang walked over to me, obviously proud and confident, but letting it waiver just for a moment as she waited for my approval.
"Cute!" I said, thinking it still looked just like my little Ms. Thang, and that hair was...just hair. She regained her confident stance and went on about how she had the bangs done a little differently and how they would "flip out and feather" just as she had wanted them too.
Through the next week, Ms. Thang did her own hair. Some times, I'd see a little something I wanted to fix, but I let it go. She was waking up early with her own alarm. She burned her forehead once and her thumb a little later, but happy and proud. She was getting compliments at school, and walking with a new air of confidence and independence.
As I lay in bed one night, I realized that this was a time when hair wasn't just hair. This time, her hair cut was about growing up, doing things on her own, and becoming her own person with her own personal style.
For a split second I wanted to hit the hair dresser in her stupid face and insist she put the hair back on, but of course, this is how things are to be, and I'm thankful that my little girl is growing up in a way that gives her a self-assured walk, and a confident air. That is the goal after all. These are the steps she is supposed to take. I sometimes get so wrapped up in the idea that my purpose as a parent is to gently guide her in a good direction, that I sometimes forget, that my job also requires me to simply move aside at times.