August…the time of year when the heat is unbearable, the school supply lists are out and parents begin to shed tears. Yes, just around the corner is the exciting and dreaded first day of school. For some, the blow is not nearly as hard because it’s the beginning of another school year, this Kindergarten thing is old news and the tears may not flow as freely. For others, this is the first first day of school. It’s a bit emotional, the passage of time. It’s the realization that our kids are growing whether we like it or not. Images of Middle School, High School, driving (yikes) and beyond or driving loom ahead in the not-so-distant future with this initial leap into kindergarten. Understandably, the first step into a brave new world of independence, can bring on the waterworks.
I loved school. I loved the Back to School supplies, seeing friends again, the back to school supplies. Did I mention the back to school supplies? I have a slight obsession with school/office supplies. Who wouldn’t go crazy over an awesome Trapper Keeper or the latest and greatest writing utensil (shaker pencil) that will set you apart from all the other kids? So naturally, I think Kindergarten will be great. Can’t wait, really. Not because I want to gain more time in my day. There will never again be more time in my day until I’m too old to enjoy it. I haven’t shed tears yet as the first day of Kindergarten countdown begins, nor do I see that happening. It could be that we’ve been busy sorting out uniforms, backpacks, school supplies, or dealing with the recent unbearable heat. It could also be that my tears are saved up for other occasions that mark Lola’s move toward independence. Like her recent (read – a persistent year’s worth of asking) decision to grow her hair out. Now that is something I cry about.
For the past 3 and a half years, she has had the most adorable short haircut. I can’t really take credit for the haircut style but I feel very fortunate to have found myself in its presence. I was faced with the dilemma of sorts when pondering the future of Lola’s hair back then. It was growing long in the front and back, what I like to call a double mullet. What does one do with a double mullet? Add bows? I was starting to question her entire hair grooming future, and that’s when I saw it. You could even say it was a sort of Christmas miracle albeit a small, superficial miracle but nonetheless. While at the mall one day, in the same vicinity as my sweet girl stood another little girl around the same age with the most adorable short hair. If I had blinked I would have missed it. I instantly knew this was the direction to go.
Then one day it happened, Lola said she wanted to grow her hair out. Her reason – because all the Disney princesses have long hair. Stupid Disney. Of course, parenting has taught me that when backed into a corner the initial response should be to try reasoning (because that always works, right?) I tried to point out that in the end, Rapunzel cuts off her hair – just like Lola’s hair. This didn’t work. I tried a different angle. If you want to grow your hair out, you have to keep getting it cut. What better way to stall, than to provide confusing logic? It worked….for a while. It didn’t matter that everyone we met/knew expressed what an adorable haircut she had. She still persisted with the long hair push. But I ignored it. Great Parenting 101, ignore the issue and hope it will go away. My husband pointed out one night that during a heart to heart chat, that our daughter expressed what he thought was a very strong desire for her to grow her hair out. The voice of reason was speaking – we should let her grow her hair out. But don’t think for one second I didn’t try to weasel my way out of letting her make her own decision. Lola mentioned she wanted long hair like mine a couple of weeks ago. AHA! She really doesn’t want to grow up, she just wants to be like me (God help us all). I told her I would cut my hair short too and then she wouldn’t have to grow her hair out. I know, I’m brilliant. I was due for a cut anyway. A week later she mentioned she wanted to grow her hair long. Sigh. I give in.
Tears. My little girl is growing up and making her own choices.