I wish I had a GPS for my kids sometimes. Then I could see where they’re going when they say something as innocuous as “Do we have any Kool Aid?”
But I quickly figured out the direction this conversation was headed when Molly then asked, “What would you think if I colored my hair bright pink?” Yes, it was Molly. The one with the gorgeous, cascading mane of red hair. Molly, the girl who’s heard most of her life, “do you know women pay a lot of money for your hair color.” My daughter.
Images of my daughter with florescent cotton candy hair and fishing tackle hanging from her nose flashed through my mind. I could hear the gasps as she walks up to the piano to perform a Bach concerto at her next recital. Would she want to start wearing a tee-shirt that says “I’m a baaaaaad girl.” Oh sweet mercy, Jesus help me.
“What exactly did you have in mind?” So far, so good. No quiver in my voice.
“I read online that I can use Kool Aid as a temporary hair color,” Molly said. Oh Yeah. I could hear those commercials from the 70′s now running through my head. (I probably suffer from some undiagnosed mental condition like Overactive Imagination Disorder.)
Hmmm. That seemed reasonable. Though it did flash through my mind that with a single letter change, I could turn “Kool” into “Kook.” Kool Aid as hair dye. Yes- Kook Aid would be about right.
“You need to research a little more to make certain you’re not going to destroy your hair,” I advised.
Soon she was headed into our bathroom with a package of grape Kool Aid, a bowl and a wide tooth comb. And a big smile.
She emerged afterward looking very drippy and smelling grapey. Jay raised an eyebrow at me. I shrugged trying to convey How much harm could this do?
Then I went into the bathroom. Oh. My. Gawd. It looked like the scene of Kool Aid Massacre.
“MOLLY! GET IN HERE!”
She showed up, purple streaks racing down her face. She grinned. ‘Uh, yeah?”
Given the amount of purple Kool Aid splattered everywhere, she could have blended right in with the amount of Kool Aid she was wearing.
Purple streaks were on the sink. On the floor. The mirror. How the HECK did that get in the tub?
She pushed a purple lock out of her eye with an cyanotic looking hand and shrugged. A little purple river trickled from her ear.
What kind of a mother am I?I let my daughter dye her hair purple but then I get more upset over mess in the bathroom.
But I couldn’t get over the crime scene-ish feel to it. I kept hearing a cheery “Hey Kool Aid!” running through my mind. I pictured yellow crime tape outlining the shape of that darn pitcher.
After order was restored Molly unveiled her new look. Well sorta. I was planning on the color not taking too well and that’s precisely what happened. (Or would be that what didn’t happen?) Of course, I knew there was a possibility my daughter would resemble a Popsicle.
I see that hand in the back of the class. What kind of mother am I to let my daughter do that? Actually, it’s a question that echoes in my own head. Well, since I’ve already established the basis for a mental disorder with myself, that’s not an unreasonable question.
Choices. It’s that wonderful….and potentially dangerous thing that God has granted every human.
I thought of all the goofy things I did as a teen and as a young adult…or as a middle aged adult. And I’ve also thought of the times where I’ve prayed for direction and have felt a whispered What would you like?
It’s exhilarating when we realize the power of choice and it’s something I want to indulge with my kids as much as possible while they’re under my roof. That way when some choices end badly, we can help them walk through the consequences.
Molly did ask me if it would make me mad if she decided to really dye her hair pink. I told her I think it would make me more sad than mad.
I told her I thought having pink hair would give people the wrong impression about who she is on the inside. Told her that I hope she doesn’t play into the lies fed to girls about their appearances. And we talked about choices.
Yes….until someone DOES invent a GPS for kids; you never know where a discussion will head. But that’s okay because the real adventure isn’t in the destination, it’s in enjoying the journey. And my kids continue to teach me things everyday. Like how Kool Aid isn’t just for drinking anymore.