Hats OffJanuary 13, 2010 at 9:46 pm | Posted in Lollipop | 3 Comments
I was doing some mundane chore the other day, perhaps washing my seventh load of laundry or scrubbing dried ketchup off the kitchen table, when something hit me. Poof. Bam. Epiphany. I so rarely have those moments. I had to sit down for a minute.
It occurred to me that Lollipop has not worn a hat in weeks. Since before the holidays. This strange new act of fashion independence comes from the child who has chosen to wear a hat every day of her life, quite literally, since she was about 14 months old. No more.
For really the first time, it struck me that she is growing up. She is becoming her own little person. She is choosing not to wear hats. Not to wear the raggedy pink cowboy hat that I have repaired with both thread and glue. Not to wear the pink and red one that makes her look like she has a flower petal on her head. Not to wear the Frosty the Snowman knit one in the middle of 100-degree July.
Instead, she’s choosing headbands. (“Princesses don’t wear hats,” she says, donning her fraying Cinderella dress for the 56th day in a row. “They wear headbands.”) Or she’s choosing to have her pixie, wispy, 10-different-lengths flyaway hair unadorned (picture Cinderella, coif au naturel, sprinting back to the carriage before the clock strikes midnight). And, of course, she’s choosing not to brush it or let me brush it. Of course!
And so I sat, trying to remember the last time I had seen Lollipop in a hat. Besides the one I made her wear to school last week during our “arctic blast” (the hat she took off in the car so she could pull her headband down over her ears — “See, Mom, just as good”). The last one I remember was probably the purple cone-shaped one with the taffeta scarf cascading from the top. A princess hat. To go with the purple princess dress and purple princess shoes and purple princess gloves (did I mention she’s a stickler for matching?).
I couldn’t really count the purple hat. It’s squarely in her “princess phase,” not her “hat phase.” And so I cried. Just a little, a few silent tears, which I mopped up with the dishrag. I cried for the end of the hats, the beginning of the princesses; for her blossoming independence, symbolized by this one, first, big decision she has made; for the unique person I am helping her become; for the many small ways she doesn’t really need me anymore.
I know, of course, that she still needs me. A girl always needs her mother. But she needs me a little less each day. For that, I am a tiny bit sad. But also happy. She’s growing up. Hats off to her.