Monday, February 10, 2014

Can I freeze my daughter?

I have an 11-year-old daughter, and she is beautiful., probably...I'm slightly biased. No, I'm not. She is gorgeous. Tall, leggy, blonde, blue-eyed.

She wants to wear make-up. I remember those days...but I could swear it hit me a bit later. Sixth grade? Nope. Maybe seventh, certainly eighth. I don't think I'm terribly old-fashioned, but I want her to wait as long as possible. She's 11. Still a little girl in many ways, and I want her to hang on to these days...they are too short and can never return. I let her wear make-up for play, but not out of the house, except for a bit for a dance or violin performance (stage lighting isn't particularly friendly to blondes).

I wear make-up nearly every day, and I believe it's a wonderful thing. It's fun, it's pretty, I can accentuate what I want and minimize what I don't. And at my age, baby, it's all about the minimization.

But not my girl. Sometimes I get a glimpse of the woman she'll become, and it excites me and scares the stuffing out of me. I picked her up after school the other day, and I saw a beautiful young woman come around the corner, skinny jeans tucked into boots, a pretty blouse, a leather jacket, hair up in a bun. It took me a moment to realize she was my little girl.

I know we'll struggle over this. We already do. Yesterday we all piled into the truck to go somewhere. No place fancy. I turned over my shoulder to look before backing up, and just about choked. "Are you wearing make-up?" She had all of it on...mascara, liner, eyeshadow, blush, lipstick. Beautiful still, in spite of the stuff. I marched her back in the house to wash her face before we could leave. She was upset, and so was I. Until she looked in the mirror. I think she saw herself as I do, maybe for the first time. She looked so grown-up, and I know as much as she longs for it, she's not quite ready for that.

This is a mother-daughter dance that doesn't surprise me, that I expected would come. In my eighth-grade days of applying mascara in secret in the bathroom at the school dance, swearing to myself I would let my daughter start wearing make-up when she wanted to - but knowing in my heart I probably would make her wait...not knowing the reasons why.

If you are a mother of a girl, what age/grade did you/will you allow her to wear make-up every day? Share in the comments won't change my mind, but I'm curious.


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