Bug turns ELEVEN! (and gets blue hair!)

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Can you believe Bug is ELEVEN?!!! Of course you can’t. Neither can I. It was like yesterday when she was born. I get heart palpitations every time I take a picture of her and she looks like a teenager already. But I can’t stop time and I can’t stop her. This girl is a powerhouse and she just keeps growing up every day!

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Bug has wanted to dye her hair blue for about two years. Her cousins constant chameleon hair-change-ups might have something to do with it and her obsession with anime and changing her minecraft skins etc… If you know Bug you know how she is about color. Color is her thing and she has strong opinions.

Of course I told her that dying her hair was a silly idea and gave her about a thousand lectures on how pretty her hair was naturally. But as you can see she wore me down. And wore me down some more. Because I love my crazy girl and I really wanted to give her a present that would make her really really happy. I caved!

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Off to the salon we went! Bug has a favorite salon and a favorite stylist. She’s way more loyal to her stylist than I ever have been. It might have something to do with her stylist being 24 and a really cool surfer dude but he always does a really good job with her hair and we make a special treat out of it when we go. You know, macarons at Lette, hotdog from the hotdog stand. It’s our bi-annual thing.

At first, when we started to take the hair-coloring subject seriously, I thought we’d go to a beauty college and save some $$$ but then I got worried that I might fry her hair and I’d ruin her (red flag number 1). So we opted to ask her stylist for a recommendation and he recommended Ally.

We set the appointment and waited for the day with great anticipation. It was crazy how excited we were. Then the day came and the bleaching began. BLEACHING. Oh-my-goodness. I bleached my daughter’s beautiful long healthy honey-blonde hair?!!! Who am I? This so wrong on so many levels. (Red flag number 2.)

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The plan was to lighten Bug’s hair to a white blonde and then apply a blue-indigo ombre effect to that white blonde. It was a great plan. But then as Ally started blow-drying out the blonde, Bug and I both gasped at how pretty it was. It was this amazing out-of-the-bottle blonde color that every Californian aspires to. We thought, maybe we should keep the blonde and just apply the dark ombre indigo-teal color to the underneath in a cool peek-a-boo effect. In fact, that idea sat with me even better because the blonde was more natural, right? (Red flag number 3 with blinking lights and a siren!)

But then as she finished blow-drying and I saw the blonde getting brassy all the way up to Bug’s eyes, I started to feel anxious. I couldn’t ignore the sirens going off in my head any more. My kid should not look like this. This is the kind of blonde ombre effect grown women on Real Housewives of Orange County have. I started to feel sick to my stomach. But Bug loved it and was over the moon! Ally curled it all pretty and Bug felt like a golden princess. I was a ball of mixed feelings with alarms going off in my head.

By the time we got to her Dad’s house (she was at his house that week) I was experiencing a full panic attack over her hair. Sweating, my heart hurt… How could I have done this to my child! She looked like Iris from Taxi Driver and it was just wrong. Poor Bug had no idea why I was getting so upset. She started crying and I was crying.  It’s amazing I could even drive. We were a mess.

Thankfully, Toby didn’t lose his marbles over my mistake when we got to the door and I exploded all of my worries and concerns. He agreed it didn’t look right for an eleven-year-old and we all decided we’d go back to the salon to fix it as soon as possible and stick to the original blue plan.

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But Bug loved her blonde hair. It was such a mixed bag of emotions. On the morning of her next appointment Bug and I took an early morning walk with the dogs. She wore her rollerblades (her favorite accessory these days) and I took a few photos (with the dogs pulling me this way and that)  just so we could remember how pretty it was. We put her hair up in tight Princess Lea buns so the swirls of blue showed through. It didn’t seem quite so offensive. I wanted to take more photos but we ran out of time. I’m glad we have these though.

It was such an emotional experience for both Bug and I, I know we will remember it for years. Someday we’ll laugh about it.Bug-turns-11-blue-hair-5

Back to the salon we went. This time with strict instructions to be pastel blue, indigo blue, and teal blue and nothing else. Everyone at the salon totally understood our concerns and they happily fixed her up into the prettiest mermaid princess you have ever seen. Bug was sad to see her golden locks wash down the drain in a puddle of purple but it was best. And we know the blue will wash out over time and the blonde will come back slowly and not so shockingly. AND best of all it’s just hair. It will grow back to her pretty honey blonde someday. And no she’s not getting another hair-dye-job as a birthday present ever again.

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The blue turned out to be so much cooler in the end. I feel like I have my eleven-year-old back again. My crazy, cool, color-obsessed eleven-year-old. This is just so Bug.

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I love you to pieces, you big blue smurf-head. Which Bug is quick to correct and let me know that smurfs have blue skin NOT blue hair. (eye roll)

Mid-life Crisis and the Kool-Aid Dye

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I’m sitting here trying to sum up my latest identity/midlife crisis into a succinct paragraph and I’m at a complete loss for words. Remember when I used to write daily and the words just flowed out of me like rainwater out of a downspout? I miss those days. I want them back but I don’t have a clue how to get back on track.

I can share my latest hair news however. That’s kind of exciting and it’s also a tiny bit symbolic of what’s going on with me. I always change my hair when I want change in my life.

This big change wasn’t really planned though. It just happened.  Bug had Crazy Hair Day at school last week. We thought it would be fun to dye her hair with kool-aid again. It’s semi-permanent but we live in an age where it’s perfectly acceptable for eight-year-olds to walk around with green hair.  It’ll last a month and compared to the dreads of summer, it’s really no big deal.

Then, without much thought at all,  I jumped on the bandwagon and dyed my hair right along with Bug and her friend next door. They chose green. I chose red.

Who am I? Crazy, punk, middle-aged, gray-haired, mom-lady?

Part of me loves it. It’s like a rebellion against old age saying, I’m just as cool as I was back in the day! Hear me roar! The other part of me is freaked out  by the juxtaposition of my gray hair against this bright, vibrant, youthful color that just doesn’t look very classy at all.

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This half-and-half, old-with-new state of my hair kind of encapsulates my struggle with myself right now. I’m young and I’m old at the same time. I don’t belong with the hipsters who shop at Whole Foods and get tattoos all over their bodies (though I could if I tried a little harder and made a lot more money) but I’m not really ready to wear a track suit and play shuffleboard either.  I’m still beautiful, dammit! Let me hold onto my youthful good looks with every claw I have…

I am forty-one and I’m determined to love being this age. I’m not riddled with arthritis, I can still run and jump. I have a kid who makes everyday exciting. I don’t hurt in the morning when I get up. I just don’t always love who I see in the mirror. And don’t even get me started on how challenging it is to take a self-portrait without the use of instagram filters. Sheesh.

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So this is me looking myself right in the face and saying, I’m okay with being middle aged!!!  I can make it cool. I can embrace wrinkles and gray hair.

There is no going back, only forward.

Or maybe I should find a way to dunk my whole head in that pitcher of kool-aid…