Monday, December 29, 2008

Aging Gracefully


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.
Duh, Mom.

10 comments:

Jen Bay said...

How ironic. This Christmas Laura wanted a curling iron. Her ram rod straight hair is just not good enough anymore... if only she had some curls.... So, she's been working hard to get that impossible to curl hair, curly, and Madeline wants thost lovley locks straight. I guess the grass is always greener.

Amy said...

Madeline is such a beauty, either way. What a sweetheart!

Oh man, I can empathize with the bittersweet feelings of watching one of your babies grow into a "tween." I'm still getting over the first two cresting the adolescent hill and here comes number 3! I'm hoping I will be able to handle it "gracefully" myself...but when #4 rolls around, all bets are off!

Eileen, if it makes you feel any better, I was 16 in 1984 (4 whole years older than your young self!).

I can't pick you out at all in the yearbook photos! Which cutie-patootie are you?!

Terynn said...

Just to make you *all* feel better, I was graduating with a BA in 1984, which means I would have been ::ahem:: 22. yeah. Now that's depressing and enough to make me moody.

Kelly said...

Madeline is a very cute girl! Straight or curly. Enjoy the teen years, they go by so slowly. And I can totally pick you out of the crowd. You looked a lot like Madeline *but with worse hair sorry*

Diane said...

Well, I graduated from high school in 1984. So I am really old! Your daughter is beautiful, curly or straight. I always wanted curly hair, now I would just settle for thicker hair.

Jaxon and Brittney said...

Most people lack the 'wow' factor and I see it so much in beautiful Madeline. Aside from being a child prodigy she is super cute which at this age is far more important than being the smartest chick in class. She is in good hands and if she needs lip gloss I happen to know someone who has a great hook up with Clinique!!!

Eileen said...

For those of you older than me, it might make you feel better that due to unofortunate genetics, I've had gray hair since HIGH SCHOOL. Seriously. My dad was completely gray by 30. Now that's depressing.

In case you can't pick me out, I'm in the middle row, second from the right, in all my 12 year-old glory.

Dianne said...

I thought that was you, could tell from the great smile. And Madeline... well, my son would want to take her out in about 4 years :) BTW, he hated his curls too, when everyone else loved them.
What a cute girl, it's hard to see them grow up, it happens way to fast.
Now I feel old, I graduated in 1985
Did she mention jewelry, I have a cute double heart necklace set that would look great on her. Just sayen :)

Danae said...

Well, I do have to say that when I saw Madeline singing with the choir on Sunday I was taken back by how much older she seems then just a few short months ago. She is absolutely beautiful!

Lisa Cairney said...

Oh my goodness! Madeline looks just like her pretty Mama!!! Tell that gorgeous girl that I can totally relate to her curiosity about life on the "other side" of the straightening iron...and hey....I graduated from high school in 1984...and my bilevel was way worse than the look you and your classmates were rockin' back then...but yes, all around, a bad fashion year. :)