“I want my hair to be as long as Rapunzel’s” she announced on the way to the salon. It had been a while since my little red head had any sort of formal grooming done at all. So, a haircut was on today’s agenda.
“So, you want me to tell her to cut it really short, right?” I joked with her. At six, she’s not quite sure if I’m kidding or serious. So, she came up with the following:
“No Mom, I’m going to tell Miss Kara to just take off a nibble.”
Then, she surprised me with this. “And, I’m also going to ask her to make one streak of my hair purple and pink. Just one little strip because people pay good money to get hair my color already.” (Apparently she’s been told the latter part of that sentence a few times already.)
What? Could it be my daughter was already old enough to want to change her hair color? I thought that wouldn’t happen for at least ten more years. I’ve heard her say in passing before that she wished her hair were yellow like Elsa’s or “strawberry blonde” like one of the characters from a Barbie movie we own. But, I always remind her of how beautiful God created her red locks already and how well they suit her personality and how God doesn’t make mistakes…
And then, like a big fat hypocrite, I hop in the chair and say “I’m getting too blond” or “It’s feeling a little dark…more blond…” Or, “I don’t know, surprise me… but it just needs to be better than this…” (Okay, I’ve never said surprise me. I’m trusting. But, not that trusting.)
This didn’t just start when I reached a close-to-getting-gray-hairs age. Oh, no. In fact, I remember at age ten being so jealous that my older cousin was allowed to spray Sun-In in her hair at the beach. Man, did I want to get my hands on that little bottle. I counted the days until I’d be old enough to finally make myself blonder. Brown hair seemed like just another attribute working against my goal of being a super model (never mind Brooke Shields or any number of brunette supermodels of my childhood era… I believed the hype: blondes have more fun. And, boy do I like fun.)
Now, here I stand a handful of years away from telling my daughter a much better and more reasonable answer to the question, “Hey, mom, can I color my hair?” And, I’m nervous. I’m concerned because I know the right answer…but it’s so tempting to default to the one that makes me most comfortable.
You see, I believe the right answer is: Of course, honey. I don’t want you to use any products that would hurt you, but have fun, experiment. Jesus isn’t mad if you have blue hair so why would I be?
Fortunately, I read a great book by Dr. Tim Kimmel that helped me realize this is Grace-Based Parenting in action.
But, that default answer I want to resort to–that answer is really more about me. More about my hang ups and exerting my will… That answer preaches that change is wrong (even though I’m a living contradiction to that principle). But, this answer reveals what my heart cares about. It shows my wicked and selfish desire to have people my age say, “Wow, what gorgeous red hair your daughter has!” Instead of, “Wow, I can’t believe you let your daughter do something so unnatural.”
And, I wrestle with my own fear of man. My fear of other people’s opinions. I’m going to have to remember that nurturing and raising my daughter, with grace and understanding for the way God created her to be, needs to outweigh my need to keep other people happy.
Fortunately, I have a community of great moms who know exactly how to apply this principle in the lives of their teens. Two women in our church are in the prime of teenage-daughter parenting and it’s fun to watch. I am excited to learn from them as I am still relatively new to my own parenting journey.
And, believe it or not. Both of their daughter’s have had funky colored hair. One startled me at church a few weeks ago with her brilliant blue. The other had this cool feather look thing going for quite a while with dark hair and blue tips. One of these moms likes to experiment with the wild colors too. (Maybe I’ll be that brave…someday…)
See, I know our heavenly father cares about our hair because they are a part of us. He loves us from head to toe. But, I also believe we have freedom…and having fun with hair color or styles is just an expression of that.
Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows. Luke 12:7
What do you think? Does Jesus care about YOUR hair?[jetpack_subscription_form]