Momservation: Letting your child express their individuality and the pain it causes you to keep your mouth shut is your own mother’s sweet revenge for suffering through acid washed jeans with holes in the knees, black lace gloves and ten pounds of Aqua Net in your hair.
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I knew if I was patient enough it would finally happen.
Of course there were times I thought being patient might kill me or at least cause me to make a midnight raid into my son’s room with clipping shears.
For eighteen months I suffered in silence. Well, not quite silence, but I really tried to reign in the subtle hints, suggestions and bribes.
And each day I cursed Zac and Cody and their moppy heads. The second I saw their shaggy style on “The Suite Life of Zac and Cody” I knew their Disney influence was going to be trouble.
So you can imagine my elation when my nine year-old son, Logan, finally uttered those sweet seven words, “Mom, I want to cut my hair.”
I wanted to shout for joy. I wanted to sob in relief that his phase of looking like a 70’s love child was, indeed, just a phase. I wanted to do a happy dance and burst into song to sing his praises for coming to his senses.
But, I had to play it cool so I wouldn’t undo eighteen months of tortuously supporting his self-esteem and self-image of wanting to look like Shaggy from Scooby Do.
“Are you sure?” I asked calmly while praying feverishly this one question wouldn’t change his mind.
“Yeah. Can we go today?” Logan asked.
“Let me get the car!” I raced for my keys.
“Um, Mom. School starts in 10 minutes. I meant after school.”
“Right. I’ll just call and make you an appointment after I drop you off.” The second his feet hit the school curb I was on my cell phone dialing.
I began to imagine having my adorable, clean-cut, All-American boy back. No more school pictures where I could hardly see those beautiful blue eyes. No more soccer pictures hiding his expressive eyebrows. No more basketball pictures disguising his ghost white forehead that hadn’t seen sun in nearly two years. No more evenings of staring at my son over the dinner table, trying to picture my little baby under all that hair.
Don’t get me wrong, Logan could’ve decided to shave half his head, dyed the other half rainbow, wear only orange and walk backwards on Sundays and I would’ve still seen him as perfect.
But then all bets are off and I wouldn’t have had to keep my mouth shut. I would’ve told him he was being a ding-dong.
Protecting self-esteem and self-image does not trump looking like an idiot.