My Teenage-Midlife Crisis?

Teenage It was some of the best advice I’d ever heard. Sometime around my senior year of college, a religion professor, whom I admired, shared about the day her teen daughter came home with a pink streak in her jet black hair. This was early 80s. Neon green clods of hair color, pierced body parts and tattoos were nowhere as pervasive amongst youth as they are nowadays.  Dr. B. said that upon seeing the streak in her daughter’s hair she opened her mouth and then promptly closed it. It wasn’t worth it, she told me. There were bigger battles to fight than this. This she could live with.

Flash forward a quarter of a lifetime and I have a teen daughter named Grace. Only, Grace has autism. And I am the one who initiated the trip to the stylist last week. And the streak is more than one and the color is my daughter’s favorite: purple. We did this last summer, only in a less permanent process with streaks of tomato red. Both times as the stylists took the foil out of Grace’s hair, my heart sunk into the pit of my stomach and I must have looked pale-faced as I asked myself, silently: What. Have. I. Done?

I’m still kinda asking myself that.

We’d aimed for hot pink and I was repeatedly assured that there’s pink in there although I’ve only occasionally seen a glimmer. The purple is dominant.  The stylist herself sported a surprisingly tasteful auburn bob with melon and purple streaks. Really. It was beautiful. And, hence my inspiration to kick it up a notch. Silly me. Or not. I tend to fret about such things. My daughter lives in the real world of teen norms. Of hip dressing. And other ways of being teen.

But the only way she has of expressing to me that she also wants to dress hip is the excitement when I get it right. Like here, while having a pedicure. And, you guessed, the color going down starts with a “P”:So, here we come. We’re off to high school soon. Too soon. In fact, today is Freshman Orientation. And, we’re going with purple hair.

I’ve created an Autistic Goth Teen.

I’m not sure if this is a good thing or not. I hope it is.

At the chiropractor’s yesterday, Grace kept saying: “Hot! Hot!” It was a mild summer day. Confused, I finally clarified: “Grace, are you hot?” What the staff, who have known her since infancy, and I deduced is that she was now proclaiming what the folks at the salon had told her: She IS HOT! I kinda hope her peers in high school think so.

And then, I kinda hope the boys, at least, do not. At least not too much….

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Leisa Hammett
Author. Blogger. Speaker. ARTism Agent.

www.LeisaHammett.com; www.fromheartachetohope.org;
www.GraceGoad.com
Leisa Hammett

Leisa Hammett

Author. Blogger. Speaker. ARTism Agent. www.LeisaHammett.com; www.fromheartachetohope.org; www.GraceGoad.com

0 thoughts on “My Teenage-Midlife Crisis?

  • July 14, 2010 at 1:02 am
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    Reply
  • August 15, 2009 at 11:48 pm
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    That is amazing. 🙂  Thankfully I wasn’t too wild as a teen and didn’t really want anything beyond a second piercing in my ears.  I finally was able to convince my mother by telling her that the senior pastor’s wife had both her ears pierced twice. *giggle*.  Funny thing is that my mom is the one now sporting purple streaks in her hair.  Eh well, I guess being the oldest was hard for my mom, so I got to be the guinea pig. 🙂  My brother and sister definitely got more freedom, but I’m okay with that too.  Kudos to you for being pretty lenient on the things that don’t really matter all that much.  I hope that I will be the same…. in 10 years.  

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  • August 15, 2009 at 4:05 am
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    My mom is so loving my black stuff  and metal music  never bothers her. Now If I ironed my hair,,,,emmmm idk Not like i wanna do that to my hair anyway…looks funny

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  • August 15, 2009 at 2:53 am
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    Of all the things to fight with, hair? Don’t even waste a second worrying about it! It can always come out! Now… if she wanted a forked tongue… then you’d have reason to worry!

    Reply
  • August 15, 2009 at 12:39 am
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    I usually don’t comment on random posts I happen to catch, but yours really struck me. My parents fought every little battle, from my ear piercings to hair color to the color of my clothes. It drove me to do more and more rebellious things, just to prove to myself that I was my own person, not some sort of doll or pet for them to control. I hope MANY parents read your post and realize that by giving a little on something temporary and non-harmful, they may prevent the spiral to permanent harm or regret. Thank you for this post.

    Reply
  • August 14, 2009 at 9:31 pm
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    I know someone you could call an autistic teen goth.

    My mom works with him, and I do believe his mother did it on purpose :] . He’s kind of cool… but I guess you could call him the strong, extremely silent type? He plays a french horn.

    Reply
  • August 14, 2009 at 8:40 pm
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    I think that you’ve given your daughter space to express herself and you’ve shown her some respect for what she wishes. In turn she will respect you. Maybe not now, but someday. She won’t forget this.

    Good job, Mum!

    Reply
  • August 14, 2009 at 7:43 pm
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    That’s so dope of you ^^
    Maybe, I’ll intriduce you to my mom ;P
    Lolz, she didn’t like that I dyed my blonde hair black && purple.. xD

    Reply
  • August 14, 2009 at 3:33 pm
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    I’d let my teen do whatever crazy thing they wanted to do to their hair, simply because:  They can only do it until they start working, so why not let them have a little fun while they can?

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  • August 14, 2009 at 12:57 pm
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    I think it’s wonderful that you took her to do this.  It is so true to pick your battles.  You did a great job Mama!

    Reply
  • August 13, 2009 at 5:31 pm
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    I agree. My son is only one years old.. But when he gets older, if he decides that he wants to go out and dye his hair some crazy color, I wouldn’t mind. With the way teens are growing up these days and with the things they’re doing ( i also have a 16 year old brother. you wouldn’t believe how many of his friends have felonies), his hair color is the least of my worries.

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  • August 13, 2009 at 1:02 pm
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    Wow, that is so nice that you actually go out and take her to get these things done, instead of trying to tell her she has to have plain hair and not change! Especially since I’m guessing she would not have the ability to go out and get it done on her own for you to get angry with later.

    Reply

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