This Motherhood Gig
My girls had their hair cut yesterday.
Jane (8) woke up, announced that she wanted to chop six inches off of her hair and asked me to make the appointment.
She didn't have to ask twice. I don't choose to battle my girls about their hair because, well, it's THEIR hair but I was really hoping they would agree to get haircuts before all of our travels this summer. Ana (11) agreed to have her bangs cut and the rest evened-out.
Jane did, indeed, get EIGHT inches cut off the back of her hair. She loved her new haircut so much that she kept running around asking people if they wanted to "fluff" her hair.
This morning, she got up at 5:45 because she was so excited about going to school with her new haircut. "I'm so PRETTY!" she kept saying in wonderment. And then she'd ask if she could brush her hair again.
Ana got her bangs trimmed and the rest of her hair shaped but she was less enthusiastic about her new look. She alternated between wishing she had gotten a drastic cut like Jane's and thinking that her bangs were too short. This morning she seemed near tears at the thought of walking into her classroom. I kept trying to bolster her confidence by telling her beautiful she looked and how nice it was to see her eyes and those amazing eyelashes but she kept blinking back tears.
On the way to school, we chatted aimlessly about a few of her friends and I said something about one of them and there was a bit of silence and then she said, "But SHE'S got a boyfriend."
Oh, my love.
And you know, I sat there and the protective Mama-Bear feelings rushed right through me like an adrenaline rush. Because the lesson I wanted to give her, I couldn't. There is no way to reassure her that there will be so many more important things that build her self-worth--so many things that have to do with WHO SHE IS--than the arbitrary bestowal of some fifth grade boy's affection.
I could have said it but I didn't. Because I remembered exactly what she was feeling. And because I remembered that I was about 30 when I learned that lesson.
This motherhood gig--why is it that no one tells you how much more painful it's going to be to go through these life lessons the second time around?