Within 24 hours the ponytail returned. We visited the salon on Friday. My daughter kept looking in the mirror at her short hairstyle that was also highlighted with shades of brown in order to bring back some of her natural color, and said over and over again how much she loved her hair. She said it so many times that the stylist was a bit smug, waiting for the confetti and balloons to drop from the ceiling and the "Stylist of the Year" sash to be placed across her chest.
Previous to the salon visit, she was so bothered by her long bangs and lack of volume and luster throughout her hair that she squeezed the back section of it into an inch long ponytail and clipped back the sides with significant amounts of bobby pins. Knowing that she was longing for a look that made her feel confident, I purchased headbands for her and commented on how cute she looked while trying on different styles of hats.
All the while I wondered why in the world she requested such a short hair style if she was going to wear a ponytail every day. Recommending that she grow out her hair in order to accommodate the ponytail came with such disgust you would have thought that I suggested she shave her head and tattoo "Bald is beautiful" across her scalp.
After exiting the salon, I was confident that the ponytail days were gone. Her hair was cut in a way that lent itself to easy coiffing by a fifteen year old. My husband and I relentlessly told her how adorable her hair looked, and how pretty she was when it was down and styled. Her friends lavished on the complements as well, and her aunt told her that she was beautiful at least a half dozen times.
This morning she exited her bathroom, with a half inch long ponytail and scraps of short hair pasted down to her head with bobby pins. I couldn't believe my eyes. The money I had just spent on a cute cut and color was all for nothing. Instead of ignoring the ponytail and taking her to school, I said, "I cannot believe you put your hair in a ponytail. Next time you want a haircut and color you can use your own money," This comment didn't go over very well.
She insisted that her failed attempts to blow dry her hair into placement which suited her, resulted in a ponytail. My lack of sympathy and understanding was evident. There were heavy sighs the entire drive to school as she continued to tell me that between the mousse and blow dry, something went awry.
As I considered my frustration and the battle that I was choosing to fight I thought to myself, "It's just hair, right?" I prayed this morning that God would empower me to bite my tongue and her to have the ability to style her hair so that she loves it without having to shove it into a ponytail.
She is finding her identity. I have to constantly remind myself of that, and the fact that she isn't sneaking out at night to be with boys, and well, shaving her head and tatooing "Bald is beautiful" across her scalp.
Things could be worse, much worse.
Let the tongue biting begin.