Friday, May 13, 2011

My baby’s not cute enough.

I’ve been noticing a new crop of ponytailed cuties all over the place this spring. I am a huge fan of ponytails on little girls and I have to admit, I am insanely jealous. My 1 month old was born with a decent head of hair, but now that her head is growing so fast, she’s become the victim of a rapidly receding hairline. Unlike the men I know who suffer from the same malady, she doesn’t even have the comb-over option available to her. I decided it was time to take matters into my own hands, so I did what any good mother would do. I took her in and got her hair extensions.

If you check out the before and after shots, you’ll have to agree with me that the hairdresser did a fantastic job of providing her with the length and fullness she lacked. She won’t have to hang her head in shame on our next trip to the playground, and I think we now have a decent shot at monetizing parenthood. I’m forwarding head shots to several talent scouts this morning. I have noticed that she struggles to hold her hair-burdened head upright, and I think, technically, her ponytails actually qualify as a strangulation hazard; but it will all be worth it when I see the other moms look down into their strollers with disgust and try to shield their hideously bald babies from view as they slink home in shame.

OK, so I didn’t actually get hair extensions for my newborn. And I think it’s indescribably repugnant that a mother has allegedly administered Botox to her eight year old, whether the child requested it or not. What I do admit to, however, is having some of my own value wrapped up in the beauty and brilliance of my daughters. While I think a certain degree of identification with our kids is normal – we do invest a substantial portion of our time and treasure into producing and nurturing them – I’m always walking that line between helping them be their best and pressuring their lives to be expression of my own ambitions.

I hope my oldest daughter will get a chance to dance on Pointe before she retires from ballet; I wish my middle daughter would stand up to her bossy friend that fibs; and I fluff my baby’s wacky hair before we go out or have guests. Let’s face it, though, if they don’t want to dance, really love their bullish friends, or their hair all falls out, I will have to let it go. My kids’ are beautifully and wonderfully made by God, head to toe and inside out. On their best days, I love to consider that I may have had a hand in their outstanding qualities and accomplishments. But living vicariously through them does intolerable things. It undermines their ability seek out the pursuits that are truly right for them. It suggests that what God made is somehow not good enough for me.

When I hear about show-biz kids divorcing their parents, or teenagers getting implants, I know those urges can get out of control. I pray my daughters grow up feeling healthy and beautiful, confident and self-assured. I pray I make the right choices to support them and help them be and feel successful. I pray I maintain a sense of awe and gratitude for the gift of who they are, rather than pushing them to become what I dreamed of for myself.

Children are a blessing and a gift from the LORD. Psalm 127:3

1 comment:

  1. You crack me up! Some good points there, in the midst of the craziness.