Parenthood is forever changing me. Often dragging me through the mud. Forcing me to change my mind and pressuring me to explore why I hold the views I do. The fact that children are the ultimate teachers in this life proves true regularly. I am so wildly in love with my children yet simultaneously ready to rip my hair out and travel to a far off island and drink until my face falls off.
Each of my children are fiercely their own beings. I see so much of myself in each of my children yet so much of them is so clearly their own. My oldest is obsessed with Pokemon and video games and legos. She's an all around geek and genuine free spirit. I love her long blonde beachy hair. She loves scissors. More times than I can count I've caught her hair has met those scissors. I screamed and punished her the first couple times, then came to the realization that it's her hair - not mine. I do not own her body. I didn't get to pick how she looked when I gave birth to her, and I don't get to pick now. But damnit do I wish I did. So when she asked me if she could cut her hair, I said yes. I selfishly hoped it would build trust and help her stop going behind my back to cut her hair (her uneven locks and the fact that she never brushes her hair make it hard to confirm but pretty sure she's cut it again since this grand day). I explained to her that if she hates it - I can't fix it and will not pay to go to a salon after the fact. If she messes it up bad it can take years to grow back. So she cautiously went to town on her un-washed, un-brushed hair. She took about 3-4 inches off. She let me even out the back when she was done. It came out cute minus some chunks in the front and I was incredibly relieved she didn't cut at the scalp.
I worry about my children looking 'presentable' because it is seen as a reflection of me, though an insignificant reflection I do admit. I don't want others to judge me. I want to feel 'proud' - like I 'succeeded' -as if my kids looking 'cute' (which is crazy subjective anyway) is at all a reflection on my ability to raise functioning and fantastic humans. But more than that I want to raise my kids to be happy. I want to raise them to be bold in who they are and not let others dim their light, no matter how funky it may shine. So this summer I took a big gulp of my pride and let me six year old cut her own hair. . . And I may have agreed to let her dye it purple if she gets all her stars for doing all her chores for a full week. . .