Red, Blue and Purple

Posted: January 13, 2011 in Misc
Tags: , , ,

I used to be a conservative mother. I was raised Catholic (in a Jewish family, long story) and changed to Protestant when I was old enough to decide for myself. Compared to most of the moms I know, I have always been a bit on the strict side. I do not let my children walk to school. I do not let my teenage son walk to the closest McDonald’s with his friends. I restrict what movies they watch and what music they listen to. When it comes to personal expressions of individuality, however, a certain moral code ingrained in my being screams at me to let them do what they want, as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone. Which is why, when my step-daughter wanted to dye her hair blue, I said okay.

Now, the people who know me but don’t know me well are probably shocked as all hell that I would allow this. She’s only 14. Why in the world would I let her dye her hair like this? First of all, I’ve seen a lot in my day. I’ve seen 14 year old girls get pregnant. I’ve seen them drop out of school. I’ve seen them do drugs. My step-daughter is a good girl. She has her head on straight. She is against drug use, understands the dangers of drinking and gets A’s and B’s in honors classes at school. She knows who she is and she knows how she wants to express herself. I will never deny her the ability to express herself as an individual. If she wants to die her hair blue, I will happily allow her to do so. Why? Because parents needs to pick and choose their battles, and as long as she has a solid moral foundation, I’m more than happy to allow her to show her wild side through expression of her hair color. God knows it could be so much worse.

I have to admit, a part of me is giggling on the inside. I know this is going to piss her mother off. I really don’t care. It’s not like I said “Let’s go dye your hair to piss mom off.” She asked me if she could do it and I said yes and the decision had nothing to do with her mother and everything to do with my respect for my step-daughter.

I love my step-children. I love all my children. I will do everything in my power to make them happy. If dying her hair makes her happy, then I’m not going to stand in her way.

Anyway, I did talk my step-daughter out of dying her hair solid electric blue and opting for red, blue and purple highlights. I think it’ll look better on her. I didn’t tell her no. I just gave my opinion, and she respects me as much as I respect her so she took my advice into consideration and the color is setting as I type this. I’m excited to see how it turns out.

While red, white and blue may be the colors of American freedom, red, blue and purple are the colors of my step-daughter’s freedom — freedom from the bullshit she had to deal with when she lived in Utah and freedom to express herself as the wonderful, responsible, bright and creative individual she is. I am lucky to have her and my step-son and my three own children in my life and I count my blessings every day.

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