Too Conservative For My Own Good

Back in the saddle.  I am on East Coast time, so came into the office this morning at 3am.  That is crazy, right?  I just woke up.
I don’t think I mentioned to YOU that my son asked me to bleach his hair a few weeks ago and heretofore I had always said no.  Afterall, I thought, Doesn’t he have enough things to overcome in relationships?  Does he have to have bleached hair on top of it–LITERALLY!
This time I said okay, and the next weekend I bleached him yellow.  I meant to get him to white, which is what I thought he wanted, but having never bleached anyone’s hair before I might have left it on too long or not long enough.  All I know is that he was screaming that his head was burning off, so I decided “right now” was the perfect time.  Anyway, yellow it was.  I saw it first and had a horrible panic feeling.  Then he looked in the mirror, “Mom! It looks so great!”  It’s kind of yellow, isn’t it? “That’s just how I wanted it.”  Snap. I knew that.
I say all of this by way of underlining that I wish I had been less conservative with my daughter when she was in her early teen years.  I really do. She always wanted to look cool, and be different, and do things to her appearance her way.  I thought similarly, Don’t you have enough things to overcome in relationships?  Do you have to dye your hair, pierce your nose (lips, cheeks, chest, etc.), wear those clothes, too?   So, I said no a lot.
If I could do it again, I would say YES more, so that the lines I drew could have more meaning. I would be less conservative about how the kids looked and more conservative about their feelings and our relationship, so the little meaningless things didn’t become barriers to connection and love.
My son looks pretty good in yellow hair. Who would have imagined that?
He did.
The Attach Place

The Attach Place
Center for Strengthening Relationships

Love Matters,

Ce Eshelman, LMFT

Lessons learned too late.


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