Does it REALLY matter? Does this disagreement really have to do with morality, commonsense or responsibility or is it simply a matter of taste, choice or opinion?”
As parents, we are often counselled to choose our battles with our children and refrain from forbidding all crazy fashion experiments. About 90% of the time, I have to admit that some disagreements, with my teens especially, were not worth fighting over and as the most mature person in the equation, I should probably acquiesce as gracefully as possible.
For me, this was a ‘very hard pill to swallow’ as the saying goes. It went completely against my perfectionist mother persona. The examples I could give are countless but I’ll recount a couple of the most amusing.
A good friend, who was a slightly younger and a more cool mother than I was, offered to shave my two oldest boys’ heads.
Both of them really wanted to try this new style. David, especially, was jumping up and down.
Carol laughed , as she looked at the expression on my face,
”Oh come on Melanie, it’s only hair, for Pete’s sake. It will grow back!”
To me, that hair style looked rough, like an army kid would wear. On the other hand, we didn’t have a lot of money and this was a cool, free haircut that would last a looong time. Carol actually carried her shaving kit with her, so it was easy to let go of my prejudices. The buzzed heads delighted my two boys and I had to admit, it was easier to wash their heads. The next day, I allowed Jean to travel alone with Carol’s family for the first time when they returned to Toronto a couple of days ahead of the rest of our family. The next day another Carol induced crisis popped up when Jean phoned, excitement bubbling in the tone of her voice,
“Mummy, guess what? Carol said she would pay to get my ears pierced and for the earrings. PLeeeease say yes, pretty pleeease!!!”
I wanted to wait until she was sixteen but you know what? It wasn’t corrupting her morals or injuring her health and the earrings would make her feel pretty every day. So I gave in. Of course five-year old Ruth saw her sister and screeched,
“Jeannie got her ears pierced??!!”
I had to let Ruth get her ears pierced as well. This decision was a good choice because the girls kept the same little studs in for years and were completely satisfied for years. Those earrings made the girls feel like they fit in with their peers.
At this moment another crisis looms over my head. My youngest daughter wants to pierce her naval. This is another shock to my staid system but guess what? It can only be seen in the summer, which is relatively short in Canada, and she only wants a small soooo…