And so it is when ordinary moments turn into deep thoughts.
I grew up a feisty tomboy. I viewed dresses as an insult to my character. Baby dolls? Total waste of time. There was a big wide, world out there and the quality of my day was determined by how much of that world’s dirt I got under my finger nails.
Now I have a daughter and it’s fun. She is a little more frilly and fru-fru than I, but I caught a glimpse of myself in her today that made me laugh.
It was field day. Oh, we attended, we cheered. I was like every other slightly off her rocker mother who felt it necessary to video-tape the dizzy bat spin. What caught me off guard and made me smile, made me see that even though I’ve grown up, I’m still the little me I was over 30 years ago?
Messy hair. Wispy bangs, the wayward single braid that has no interest in laying straight down the back.
I’m just not the “bow” mom. I love bow moms, don’t get me wrong. I sincerely think they are cool. And, I’m not just saying that in a polite condescending way that Southerners say “bless their heart!” while disdainfully rolling their eyes. The Bow Moms have the strategic placement of a 5 inch bow in every possible matching color down to a science. The other day, I tried. I offered a bow in a matching hue, and our angel said “Great!” and very proudly and independently shoved it onto her head in a most unnatural position. I just went with it.
So, Field. Day. I’m pretty sure we had an encounter with a Bow Mom. There was no explicit evidence of bow, and I truly believe she acted in love. She was a volunteer on the line, on hand to help ensure the littles stood still in a mannerly fashion. I looked over on a few occasions to see her intently trying to fix our daughter’s hair. The wispy bangs, that wayward braid, somewhere in there was a barrette that was holding on for dear life. On instinct, my husband and I found that whole “touching other children that aren’t your own” concept pretty weird. I nor my daughter had ever met her. I think our daughter’s hair situation was like, really bugging her. I contemplated casually walking up and saying something, but held back, I was at a safe proximity and could tell in her face that she was acting in tenderness, and truly wanting to help.
It was just so funny to me that in the several hundred thoughts that crossed my mind during field day today, not once did I think that I needed to fix a little girl’s hair. I don’t consider myself a Feminist, but I am just a little more than okay with thinking outside the lines on how girls and boys are “supposed” to be. I’m okay with a little girl who couldn’t care less on the status of her up do.
And I have my incredibly cool parents to thank. Right around when I turned 5, my mom, late 40s, (aka, I’m a OOPS BABY) started graduate school and launched her career, reinventing herself from mom to 5 to career woman. My Dad, a veteran real estate guy, ran the day to day household routines around meeting with clients, including braiding my hair everyday into two symmetrical pig tails (Lord knows, I wasn’t going to do anything with it, and THE MAN CAN BRAID!), packing my lunch, and getting me to school. As far as I know, I’m thinking he is the one that primarily grocery shopped, cooked dinner, and made sure there was a clean towel for when you got out of the shower. I got to see how my parent’s support for each other remained consistent while their own career paths ebbed and flowed. What a beautiful gift. Looking back, my mom’s salary kept the bills paid when the closings were few and far between, and my Dad’s nurturing touch made me feel so loved that it didn’t occur to me to think about money, whether we had a lot of it or not.
Sometimes my hubby and I like to relax and dream crazy dreams. Sometimes those dreams include him being a stay at home, homeschooling Dad that takes our two to space camp for a week. (of course, in those scenarios, he would still coach, because he is a coach and will always be a coach. :))
I was reminded today that it is so important to be comfortable in your own skin. Even if your own skin includes slightly jacked up hair. Even if your own skin goes against the grain, if it makes some people wonder, if your just not exactly what they expected you to be, or even their “cup of tea.” That’s okay. And, when we are comfortable in our own skin, we can see the true beauty in others. I will not feel threatened or oddly challenged by the Bow Mom. I can love her as she embraces comfort in her skin, 5 inch bows, perfectly placed hair and all.