I never expected to grow as a parent from a haircut. I never thought a mohawk would teach me anything. Man, was I wrong. My 9yr old daughter had been asking for a mohawk for quite some time. I kept putting it off. My own insecurities and anxiety wouldn't let me say yes. I wanted to. I desperately wanted to be the parent that let their daughter get a mohawk, or let her son pierce both ears. I don't believe in gender lines. I have worked hard to foster individuality and self love and acceptance in my children. But seeing it be put into play? I wasn't ready for that. Finally, one beautiful Sunday afternoon, I stomped my feelings down enough to let her get her mohawk. And I sure am happy I did.
My daughter is tender hearted. She is energetic, but rather meek. She is kind, and gentle. And until she got her mohawk, I didn't see her as brave. Not in the sense that I see her in now. It takes a lot of guts to stand up to society and say "I'm going to do what I want, and I don't care what you think". Because she does care. She cares a lot. The bravery it took to stomp down her OWN feelings of insecurity and anxiety is nothing short of incredible. We talked at length about the looks and comments she may get. So far she has only gotten 1 rotten response, but it was from a person I fully expected to be rotten about it, and so did she, so her feelings weren't too bruised. Most people have told her it is awesome, and adorable. I have seen confidence in her the last 24 hours that I have not seen in a long time. I see a light in her eyes that hasn't been this bright before.
I wanted so badly to shelter her from how cruel people can be. But I quickly learned that I cannot raise my children to be themselves, and confident, and adventurous, if I don't LET them be those things. Words only mean so much. Life experiences is where the real learning happens. I need to let my children explore (to extent) while I am closeby and able to comfort and guide them, and reassure them that they ARE awesome, and special, and smart, and beautiful. So bring on the mohawks, and the liberty spikes, and funky hair colors. Bring on the horrid music, the torn knee jeans and faded t-shirts. Bring on any other paths my children wish to explore. They are brave, and bold, and beautiful, and I am so thankful they are here to teach me such wonderful lessons.
To the world, please be kind to children finding their own way. Don't tell them their choices are awful, or ugly, or stupid, or wrong. Build a bridge, not a wall. To my brave daughter, I love you very much. Never let the world force you to be someone you don't want to be. Always be your beautiful self.