This morning my daughter let me do her hair. This doesn't happen often because A) It starts to bug her after a while and B) I'm really not a great hair-do-er and it's not something I aspire to. Someday when I am rich I will hire someone to do my daughter's hair on a daily basis, but until then, my creativity will have to do. Fair enough?
Anyway, we just did a simple ponytail this morning to get it out of her face, and to hide the fact that she showered and then slept on it last night. She has a lot of hair, but it is fine, so it kept slipping out of the ponytail. She said, "Mom, my ponytail is coming out."
I said, "That's okay, Honey, it doesn't matter."
She said, in her four year old wisdom, "It does to me, Mom."
Sometimes in my non-childlike state I forget about what just might matter to my children. They have a small world that they are operating in right now. It consists of Mama, Daddy, other family, school, and friends. The big bad world hasn't hit them, yet, and they don't have that shadow self telling them that they are worthless or not good enough.
As parents, we often feed the shadow in our children. When they leave socks on the floor and we choose that as a battle, or a reason to berate, it feeds their shadow self, telling them they are not good enough. When I told my daughter that her hair didn't matter even though we were headed out the door for school, I was teaching her what my shadow self tells me every day - appearances don't matter.
However, we live in a world where it DOES matter, and where just as it was when I was growing up, the girls at school with the cutest clothes and cutest hair are going to be the most popular. It is what it is. I don't need my daughter to be popular, though I know well what it feels like to WANT to be popular. I suspect she will experience the same thing that I did. What I do want, is for my daughter to see the wisdom in making good choices.
I didn't make a good choice when I said it didn't matter. I said it because we were late and fixing the ponytail would make us later. But what matters the most in this case - being on time, or being there for my daughter?
In this case, I think I will choose her.