My Madeline turned twelve in October, which puts her on that teetering edge between childhood and teen-dom. There was no trip to Toys-R-Us for her Christmas presents this year. She wanted an i-Pod and jewelry and lip gloss. This has put me in a bit of a funk. I've resigned myself to the fact that Adam is now a full-on adolescent, but I'm not quite ready to let Madeline make that leap.
I think it's because she was arguably the cutest little curly-headed girl ever. She could have been a modern-day Shirley Temple. She had the hair, the voice, the personality. But she's grown out of her tap shoes and now this weekend she went to the salon and asked them to straighten her hair. The last bit of Shirley Temple gone.
It wasn't chemically altered (that would have killed me), they just used big brushes and hair products and a straightening iron, but it still felt like a moment. And along with the hair and i-pod and earrings, I've been seeing hints of the twelve-year-old insecurities and moodiness--stuff I never thought I'd see in my ultra-confident Madeline. But still, she's making that childhood to adolescent leap so beautifully and gracefully.
I, on the other hand, did not. I've included a small grouping along with my twelve-year-old school picture, because I think it's important to show that 1984 was a bad year all-around.
So, Madeline, if you can make twelve look good, which you do, you're pretty much set for the rest of your life. And do you know what? Shirley Temple traded in her tap shoes to become a U.S. ambassador and diplomat. She knew there was more to her than just the curls-- something you've known all along.