So, if you follow me on FB or Twitter, you know that Hope had an interview for a summer program this week. For a lot of reasons, I looked at programs that would offer Hope the opportunity to academically reset in a really structured environment. We chose a program together, I submitted the application and was delighted when she got an interview.
So, then I had to coach my daughter on presentation. I was a bit fussy about what she would wear and her hair. I ended up doing her hair in an updo and she chose to wear a pair of black slacks, blazer and white shirt. She tried to ditch the blazer, but I insisted that it be worn—it ended up raining buckets, so she easily bought into wearing it in the end.
Where we ended up having some drama?
Hope wears sneakers all the time. That’s her thing. She likes her sneakers, and she’s a creature of comfort. 99% of the time she will be spotted in jeans, a t-shirt and sneakers. I manage to get her into a dress a couple of times a year, namely Easter.
So, as she was walking around the house, I told her to put her shoes on because we needed to get on the road to drive the 75 miles to the school. She huffed and puffed.
“You don’t want to wear your flats?” She replied no, but that she didn’t feel like any of her other shoes went with her outfit.
I paused and then said, “Well…you could wear your black high tops.”
She just stared at me.
“You can, and you can wear some of your funky socks.”
“But they will see them when I sit down.”
“Yeah, so. Those socks are you, totally you. And you should be comfortable and authentic. Just be you. The black sneakers will go with your suit and the socks will be your pop of color.” I reminded her that I have this amazing colleague who collects Jordans and wears them with her business attire and how cool that is.
“I can do that?”
“Sweetie, your mom has blue hair….Yeah, you can do that.”
Yes, my hair is currently a pale blue. Last fall, I realized that my hair, which is mostly gray and resistant to being colored means that I could play with color! I can dye my hair lovely colors with no commitment. It’s been pink, purple, teal, and most recently blue—which has been my favorite, so it’s likely to stay around.
In the last 6 months or so, it’s been a big statement and has been received actually quite well in my professional life. I love it and it’s just the non-conformist thing that makes me happy.
So, yeah, if I can roll to the hoity-toity boarding school with my blue hair, my kid can sure as hell roll in with her uber cute socks and her black sneakers.
She looked great; more importantly, she looked comfortable and so she was more comfortable.
And later, on the drive home, after her stellar interview performance (that resulted in being offered admission before we left campus because she’s friggin awesome!), I asked her if she knew what it mean to be authentic. We had a nice chat about always being yourself. I took some time to remind her that she has NOTHING to be ashamed or worried about regarding her past in terms of how other people felt about it. She can and should always be herself.
I hope with my blue hair (today) that I’m modeling that for her. I know it’s been more and more important to me as I grow older and give fewer effs about what other people think about me and my life.
I’m so stinking proud of her. She’s really an amazing kid.