So, my sweet little angel, my youngest daughter, the apple of my eye, stepped off the plane the other day, and half of her head is shaved. This little girl was, it seems just moments ago, still carrying a stuffed animal around everywhere she went. Now, she’s full on anti-establishment.
I nearly shed a tear. I was that proud. I could be a dutiful father and explain the trials and hardships of bucking the system, going against the grain, and contradicting the mores of society….fuck that. I doubt the ‘do has any more meaning than wanting to be different. I celebrate that.
In an age where conformity travels at light speed, and all teens know what all other teens are doing at any given moment, my daughter shaved half her head and said, “Look, I don’t play your Hollister, Abercrombie bullshit game.” (okay, maybe I interjected that part)
She probably has no idea what she’s rebelling against. She’s just rebelling. The important distinction I note is that, while all her peers are collectively rebelling against invented hardships and injustices administered by us old people, she is rebelling against them. The half shaved head has never been a popular teen fashion statement.
In a moment of zen, my BSW and love of my life, looked at her and said, “I shaved half my head when I was your age too.” If my daughter turns out as half the person as Lori is, I will call that one big fucking success.
My daughter’s a rebel….I don’t know where she gets that from. Perhaps she’ll rage against the machine and the dying of the light. Perhaps it’s a phase and she’ll settle into coping with society with the rest of us. Whatever she does, I’ll be proud. Whatever she pursues, she’ll have the experience of facing society with half her head shaved. She’s better equipped because of that.
We were Christmas shopping today, and a store clerk commented, “Interesting hairdo.” I was getting ready to go down and already had “You work in a fucking department store, you fat, ugly bitch,” lined up when the clerk followed up with, “my daughter would love to do that.” I exited psycho dad mode quietly.
My daughter will have to learn the price of carving against the grain. I can’t teach her. I can only protect her so much. I can only cheer her swerving while the world is marching in a straight line. That’s okay too. Eventually, they all fly. They earn scars, they battle, triumph and succumb. I watched a sparrow leave the nest once. It stepped, flapped, fell, hit half the branches in the tree, and then took flight.
My daughter has half her head shaved. I’m her dad, and I think that fucking rocks.
I’m D.R., and I write, and I don’t have any hair to shave.