"You Are OK Just the Way You Are"

Way back before Christmas 2012, I had a haircut.  It was another blah haircut in a long line of overpriced blah haircuts.  Suffice to say, I'd had enough.  And so began my fourteen-month boycott of hair salons.

I wish I could tell you that I took full advantage of my ever-growing locks to try some of the cute updos that are all over the web.  I didn't.  I wanted to, but when it comes to styling my hair, I am incompetent at best.  Needless to say, my guys were delighted when I announced my haircutting drought was over and that my permanent ponytail would finally disappear.

I made an appointment for early last Saturday morning.  At bedtime, I reminded my boy that I would be gone before he woke up.  Below is the conversation that followed...

The boy:  Mama, you have to promise me that you aren't going to dye your hair.
Me:  Don't worry.  I'm only going to get a quick haircut.  
The boy:  You have to promise.
Me:  Alright.  I promise.  Can you tell me why you are so concerned about the color of my hair?
The boy:  I don't want you to dye your gray hair.  You know you don't have to be embarrassed about getting old like the other moms.  You are OK just the way you are.
Me:  Oh, buddy (my voice catching in my throat).  I give you my word.  I won't color my hair.    

That sweet, sweet boy of mine…  My heart was so moved by what he said that, in that moment, I vowed to never dye my hair again.  

His words were a gentle reminder of how important it is to teach our children (boys and girls alike) that growing older, wrinkled skin and gray hair is not something to be despised, ashamed of, or worse, disdained.  My son will learn these things not only by my words but by watching the way I choose to accept aging as a normal part of life and ease down that path gracefully.  

What if wrinkles and crows feet were thought of as gifts from years of smiling and laughter…  Gray hair as a reminder of the bits of wisdom picked up along life's journey…  Stretch marks on stomachs and sagging skin as a beautiful celebration of new life…  

Oh, that we would view ourselves and others this way.    

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