Tuesday, July 28, 2015

City Folk

Kate is here for the week. 
Emma arrives tomorrow and we will have six of our seven home together for 2 or 3 days before the older girls return to jobs and preparing for the next year of college. Jane is here a little longer and it's been sweet to see the 'little' girls interact like teenagers. 
Everyone grew up so fast.
Matt had to work yesterday, so the girls and I headed to the city.

Kate & Jane had never been to The Met and there was a Van Gogh display I wanted to see while it was still in town : Irises and Roses.
It was beautiful, simply beautiful.
I am not a fan of everything he painted, but you'd be hard pressed to find me snub my nose at anything with an iris. Kate and I discussed the things we liked about the series and noted some of the nuances of that particular phase of Van Gogh's life and how it impacted his art. 
Subtle color changes and blends, flashes of white amid stark black, yet wavering outlines.
The beauty and intricate details he saw in the ordinary and we speculated how much his madness played a part in what he saw. 
As we talked, absorbed in the paintings, I heard a man mumble something to me and turned to look at him. 
He was one of those people that seem to be straight out of a TV show about people in an art gallery.
He was tall and skinny- with a tweed jacket (in July), round glasses and a salt and pepper goatee. He probably had a pipe in his pocket that he smoked organic tobacco in and a pocket watch he picked up from a flea market, that he wishes his granddad had passed down to him instead of all of those pairs of blue corduroy bell bottoms.
(I may possibly be giving the guy more of an imaginary backstory than is needed.)
You see at least 10 versions of this guy at every museum in the city.
 He said to me "Yes, I didn't note before how the  madness dictated the line work. I see it now."
I just smiled and inched away as I tried not to laugh at how my just off the-turnip truck art assessment that I was quietly sharing with my equally turnip truck trained daughter impressed this cliche' of a New York gallery attendee. 

I guess that means we're cultured now.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Confessions of an Uncool Mom

I was going to be such a cool mom.
I was going to have babies who wore name brand shoes and I was always going to say yes to my kids when the ice cream man drove by and I was going to take them to the movies and let them order Coca Cola if they asked for it. 
At 15, I knew that's what a cool mom would do.

I was certainly never going to have issues with whatever hair style my kids wanted to wear. 

I held fast to that idea until the first time toddler Parker had shaggy hair over his ears.
I promptly drove him to the barber and introduced him to the buzzing miracle of hair clippers.
Every one of my boys is dragged to the barber, or the bathroom if they are in a trusting mood- and off goes the hair as soon as it starts to hang over their ears.
Zane doesn't care. He is happy with a buzz and he can't stand having any sort of length. He is also my furriest kid, so he gets more haircuts than both of his brothers combined.
Parker (instert dramatic music)  wishes I'd see the REAL him and love him in spite of his hair....
Because I am SUCH a cool mom I tell him that's the dumbest thing I've ever heard and I love him completely, but he looks like a hobo. 
We have settled on an agreement that Mommy will pay for the haircuts of a 21 year old, and he will just get them when I ask.
Greyson fights me.
He has a nervous habit of twirling his hair and when it is short, that habit transforms into nervously tugging- which is not good. 
I need to let go of the issue, it is starting to cause real conflict.

 I know I am the one who needs to change- it's just hair.

I have no room to even make it an issue- I don't understand why I care in the first place. I hadn't planned on caring, I really was going to be chill about hairdos.
I had some of the most horrible, stupid haircuts as a kid and I need to allow my kids to have hair that I don't love as well. I know that- but it's not as easy as it should be, I feel.
In 6th grade, I went to my mom wanting a short haircut. I'd never had long hair anyway and I was the child who got a lot of experimental perms and haircuts. What I wanted in 6th grade was a new animal.
I wanted this haircut:

Because I was a 6th grade bad***.
In Meridian, Idaho. 
And yes, I showed my mother a picture of Grace Jones and said I wanted to look just like her.
I know.

My mother pulled out the scissors and an hour later, I looked like this:

Pretty close, right?
Those purple pants were straight up corduroy. 
I had wicked awesome style.

I went through a phase where I slicked back half of my hair with gel and then did the wet perm scrunch with the other half.

(Two of these people were Christy's little brothers. Sorry.... but you have to admit they were dang hot.)

I shaved half of my head one year and gelled up the spikes on the side as it grew back.

There was also this hairdo that I thought would wash out, but I learned that my hair doesn't do 'wash out."

(I never understood girls who were on Team Feldman. Corey Haim was a dreamboat, Kids.)

I have no reason to be such a butt to my kids about hair. 

(The poodle years.)

(This picture probably needs to die. My kids have made tremendous sacrifices for comedy. )

After the last argument with Grey about hair, I decided to have a serious talk with myself. 
Cool Moms totally talk to themselves. 

As I type and process, I think I started to get super weird about controlling their hair after I married Matt and I would get in so much trouble for things like straightening out crooked haircuts, or encouraging the girls to express themselves with their hairstyles. 
I caught such hell for that - and for years. 
It was absolutely unfair to the girls and unfair to me- who was just trying to hep the girls to have clean, well groomed hair that they felt cute with.
As I resigned myself to just ignoring some of the more troubling things I saw, I also resented it.  It was hard for me to just accept that a level of care from a parent that I believed made a child feel loved and secure, was something that they were not going to have, simply because it was a territory thing. 
It mutated into a weird need to control the hairstyles of my other kids.  I allowed them to choose some things that many parents would not allow, but to be honest, I had total control of the length and we all knew it.

It's not a fight I should be having with my kids. 
I know better.
It's just hair, and it's not MY hair. 
I stopped remembering that in my grand effort to make sure my kids felt taken care of- I lost sight of what mattered there and I fought with my kids about hairdos.

I need to remember that I had the freedom to have whatever weird hair styles I wanted as a kid and even though I may have looked terrible- I usually loved my hair and all of it's gel and home perm glory.

I am the one who needs to change.
So, I told myself that the next hair thing that came up- I would just say yes.

I swear the gremlins that live in the walls and listen to me talk to myself took that information and RAN to Romy.
A day or two after I made this decision, she came to me and said "I want to a short haircut."
My knees began to shake.
 I had visions of her looking like Grace Jones and I weakly said "okay....."
She spent a few hours on Pinterest and we talked about what she liked and what she didn't like. I told her that all of those pictures on the computer were the result of styling, none of those people rolled out of bed like that.
She felt confident that she had found a hair style that was not only what she wanted, but would look good on her.
We printed some pictures and I called a local salon and she got a short haircut.
The stylist was as sweet as can be, and I think Romy has started her first grown up relationship,lol. I expect she will be with Albert for many years to come. 
He helped her express what she liked and why, suggested a few changes that would flatter her more and he taught her how to style it. 
It was a really positive experience, and Albert was wonderful.

She looks different, a little older.

She is also super happy with her new hairdo.

Leave it to my Little Romy to give me that push in the right direction that I was needing- right in the tiny window of my being open to change.
 Greyson and Parker will no longer be forced to get haircuts. 
I will even keep my mouth shut when I see hair skimming the top of their ears. 
It's just hair, it grows back, it changes and it belongs to them. 

I am not a Cool Mom, but I am a Good Mom and hopefully, that's enough.