My daughter moved out on her 17th birthday last February. She has marched to her own drummer nearly all her life, and even when she was a baby in my lap, she would try to get away. I suppose I shouldn’t be too surprised that she wanted to move out of our house as soon as she legally could. I remember three-year old Catherine telling me that she didn’t want to wear dresses with “no sleeves” and also driving me and a parent-educator crazy during a benchmark test. Catherine wanted to play with the little blocks – not put them in a pattern or stack them a certain way. When she was four years old, Catherine developed a fondness for snakes, especially cobras. This snake-phobic mom took Catherine to snake exhibits at zoos and other locations and also helped her check out what seemed like every single picture book about snakes from the library.
Catherine has developed her own style over the six years that we have lived in Belton. We moved from Little Rock and schools requiring uniforms to Belton when she was in the sixth grade. Lake Belton Middle School was her first opportunity to wear something other than khaki pants and solid color polo shirts at school since Kindergarten in Plano, Texas. By eighth grade, Catherine was dressing in black and wanting to dye her hair. I made the mistake of telling her that I wouldn’t pay for her to dye her hair. Thanks to the internet, Catherine figured out how to dye her hair red with Kool-Aid. The rest is history.
Fast forward to today. Catherine has gauged her ears, pierced her septum and lips, and is talking about more piercings and tatoos. Her hair is dyed black, but she dyed it black and white (exactly in half) fairly recently. I don’t usually give her my opinion about her piercings and hair. Today, however, she has pushed me to my limit (hence the post title). She sent me a text this evening and said to check out her picture on Facebook. I did a double-take and discovered that my daughter has shaved part of the side of her head. Not just a little chunk either – she went top to bottom.
I’m contemplating many things while drinking my glass of Pinot Grigio. The first and obvious question is “What was she thinking?” Actually, that should read, “What the hell was she thinking?” She is supposed to start work next week. Will the manager be upset? What kind of impression will she give when she shows up to work? What is she trying to prove? What does her boyfriend think? Does she even care what her boyfriend thinks? If she doesn’t like people to stare at her, why draw even more attention to herself?
I want Catherine to feel like she can express herself, but I feel like she is engaged in some sort of self-sabatoge. I don’t know.
In the meantime, I’m going to pour myself another glass of wine and call it a night.