Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Let me tell you about Kira

Kira turns 13 this week, and in honor of her becoming a teenager I'm going to do a week of posts about her. I'm also thinking of relaxing the No Reading My Blog rule, so that she can see what people are talking about when they walk up to her and say things like, "That was so funny what your mom said about you," and "If my mom said those things about me in public I'd DIE." Also, I'm hoping it'll have the exact effect I'm hoping for: after reading a few of my posts she'll never, ever want to to read my blog again. Sort of like the aftermath of seeing your parents push their way onto the dance floor at your cousin's wedding; thanks for the glimpse into your life, but I can really do without ever seeing you two do the Electric Slide again, thank you very much.

mtv-ultimate-fan-gwen-stefani-tweens-teens-teenagersI remember years ago watching a show on MTV about extreme fans, and they were featuring a thirteen-year-old girl who was obsessed with Gwen Stefani. One segment showed her parents taking her to get her hair dyed pink, just like Gwen, and I remember getting all bent out of shape as I was watching it. This was back in my early, first years of parenting, those idealistic years when you tend to say crazy things like, "My kid will never watch TV," and "I'll never pick up my kids from school wearing my pajamas and then lie about it and try to call them my workout clothes."

I mean, what kind of parent lets their minor child change their hair color? Why not just give her a stripper pole and a pair of lucite heels? As far as I was concerned, this was just one step away from a life on the streets. Sure it's just a bottle of hair dye today, but tomorrow you can bet they'll be smoking crack in a back alley and showing up with their 50-year-old boyfriend and your new 'grandchild.'

At least that's what I thought. Until Kira told me she wanted to bleach her hair for her thirteenth birthday, and Rigel and I thought about it for all of two minutes and then said, "Okay." Because here's a kid who gets straight A's, does her homework without having to be told, is polite and respectful and a joy to be around. And in light of all the things she could have asked for as she plunges into teendom, a new haircolor was the least of our worries - we were just happy that she wasn't asking for a ride to the free clinic to pick up some 'supplies,' or asking if some guy she saw perform at a club could come stay with us when he was in town. (Oh wait - she did ask us that one. Stay tuned for Wednesday's post.)

In fact, my thoughts about that MTV show didn't even cross my mind until I was in the salon watching Kira getting her head lowered into the shampoo bowl. It made me think of a few things that I'd want to say to the mom I was back then: Not to worry, that haircolor doesn't make the girl, and Kira is going to grow into such a great kid you'll be happy to let her dye her hair every color of the rainbow.

Oh, and another thing I'd tell myself back then - everyone knows those are your pajamas.

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tags: | teenagers

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  1. I remember wanting my ears pierced at 13, and my mom said it was 'too mature' for me. If only she knew what body parts teenagers were getting pierced these days.


  2. As the mother who paid to have her 10yo daughter get a purple stripe dyed in her hair, just because, I feel ya. It's just hair.

    And, I totally wear my "workout" clothes, too, except I never seem to work out.

  3. Better pink hair than some of the clothes teens wear...I teach 'em, and it makes me cringe. And I'm even one of the "cool" teachers (or so they tell me--of course, they could just be sucking up.)

  4. It is just hair and trust me, my folks played this the same way. If I had good grades and the like they were willing to bend on the little stuff. It is like a release valvue, it allows just enought steam to be blown off before there is a explosion.

  5. My son wanted to color his hair blue when he was fifteen. It was fine with me, as long as he paid for it. Hair grows out, and color fades. (Blue didn't work out quite the way he hoped, but after that, he got blond and red streaks put in for years.)

    He was a good student with nice friends who stayed out of trouble. Blue hair was no big deal. I was just glad it wasn't a piercing or a tattoo.

  6. Count your blessings! My niece just turned 15, and is pushing for a belly piercing. Oy.

  7. I let my 9-yr-old son get a mohawk last summer, and now they both want one for this summer. Hair grows! Pretty quickly!

    And yes, everyone knows those are your pjs, and no one cares that you couldn't get it together to out anything else on.


  8. Right there with you. But it's not my 13yo (she has streaks, that I just reluctantly applied and that she said are not extreme enough). It's my TEN yo. Stay tuned...


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