We’ve all heard the saying, “Let children be children,” but in an ever-changing society, what does that even mean anymore? It’s been a difficult week. I’ve spent a lot of time processing the idea of sending my child off to school and it is absolutely terrifying. Seeing bulletproof vests and shields and reading about different evacuation and lockdown drills on Facebook is exhausting. Being in a position where I haven’t even sent Zelda to school yet, I can’t imagine how excruciating it is sending your kids to the bus stop or dropping them off at the front door. I think it is time to take a deeper look at the saying, “Let children be children”. Things have changed. The days of selling Girl Scout Cookies door to door, playing flashlight tag and camping in the backyard have ceased. Depending on where you live, it is possible to create certain opportunities and experiences, but living in a city like Chicago, it is very hard.
A lot of times I feel like I’m helicoptering or over sheltering, when on the inside I want to allow Zelda to be herself – a little, pure human being. A few weeks ago she asked me for pink hair. This turned into an everyday ritual and I began to really think about it. My immediate thought was no. After all, she is three and half and I didn’t want to deal with all the judgment and outside noise. However, after I got over my initial reaction I began to reflect. Why couldn’t my child have pink hair? Half of the characters she idolizes on television have pink, purple, blue or green hair. What is wrong with allowing a child to be a child? Who gives a sh*t what anyone says? It’s not anyone else, it is about me and my relationship with my kid.
When Base Salon reached out to see if I was interested in visiting their new salon (which is amazing), I knew I didn’t need hair color. However, I knew my three and half year old could use it! I reached back out and told them we would love to come in, but the appointment would be for Zelda. She needed to get her first haircut and pink hair! I wasn’t sure what their reaction would be (or if they would think I was totally crazy), but they were beyond cool and couldn’t wait to welcome her into the salon.
When I told Zelda her pink hair dream would soon be realized, her excitement was overwhelming. She talked about it for a solid month and asked me if it was time yet. Her pink hair excitement trumped Christmas. Last Saturday, we headed into Base Salon and it was one of the best experiences we’ve ever had together. When we walked through the doors she proudly exclaimed, “I’m Zelda and I’m here for pink hair!” She had taken control of the situation and took charge in a way I’ve never seen her take charge before. She was owning the experience and watching it evolve was the coolest thing. The staff at Base Salon helped me do a ton of research on kid-safe vegan hair color. We settled on a color I saw on @charity.grace’s Instagram account. It’s by Arctic Fox and it is called Virgin Pink.
To give you an idea of how accommodating they were at the salon, the hair color ordered was not scheduled to arrive on time. This would have caused a delay, which would have been devastating to Zelda. Krysta sent her husband on a scavenger hunt around the city and being the hero that he is, he secured the color for Zelda and crisis was averted. These people are seriously amazing! They knew it was extremely important to us and made it happen. The entire process took about two hours and in toddler time, it feels like two and a half months. Zelda sat there patiently and was so in tune with what was happening. She had an ear to ear grin the entire time. The color was fully applied, she sat under heat, had her hair washed and conditioned, received a trim and had her hair fully curled. We sat, chatted, laughed and were two girls hanging out at the salon. She was glowing when she got to see her pink hair. It’s something I can’t even explain as a parent.
Our children are our unicorns of the future and it is up to us to nourish and guide them. We must make them loving, useful, empathetic beings so they can one day create positive change. We are the change and it begins in our households. We can talk about politics all day and argue about gun control, but we need to move things now. Go home today and listen to your children and include them in decision making. Zelda was so proud of her pink hair because she came up with the idea, persisted and followed through to achieve her goal. This is what it is about – we need to create an environment where our kids feel heard. At the end of the day, we are all the same – we want to feel like someone is listening to us and so do our children. If we constantly shut them down due to stigmas in society, what will they become? Be an advocate for your child. You are their number one and you know best. Don’t let any outside forces control you or dictate your future. Be your own future.
P.S. If you visit Base Salon and mention Zelda they’ll give you 15% off!