Never let your five year old daughter pick out your hair color: she has a distorted perspective of you, and sees you as part superhero and part movie star. She will think it perfectly appropriate that you have fire engine red hair, a drugstore color aptly named “Hot Tamale”. She will think you look cool, and will not notice the stares from strangers, the rolling-of-the-husband’s-eyes or the raised eyebrows from the PTA moms. Maybe that’s a good thing.
It reminds me of back when I thought my mom was the best singer in the whole world. When I was little and my mom was still young, she loved to sing out loud in the car. I remember laying in the back of the station wagon (yes, lying in the back of the car, without any restraints) and listening to my mom warble along to “Jeremiah Was a Bullfrog”. I thought it was amazing that her talents were being wasted, and that the whole world wasn’t able to hear what a wonderful singer she was. She would laugh and keep singing, but looking back, I think she was secretly pleased by the encouragement.
I begged her often to try and make a record and get on the radio. I thought if she was a famous singer, we might be able to get on American Bandstand. Unfortunately, the sum total of my family’s singing talent would elevate even the worst American Idol-ette, and I was blinded by childhood.
Now that my mom is in a nursing home, and I battle with her on a regular basis, I miss those days when I thought she stood 10 feet tall and could sing like Carly Simon.
Maybe it’s ok to let your 5 year old pick out your hair color once in a while. Maybe it’s ok to be a little larger than life in your child’s eyes. Maybe we all need a little ‘hot tamale’ now and again.