Friday, December 24, 2010

The Egyptians

“Do you allow your daughter to wear make-up?” a friend at work asked. She also has a thirteen year old daughter and they apparently constantly battle with one another over the detritus of everyday life…Blackberries, Uggs, friends, parties and now apparently make-up.

“No.” I told her. “The Beast does what she wants and I only hear about it later. So there is no permission granted, but I have witnessed make-up on my daughter’s face” I told the horrified mother.

The Beast is smart and very much an old soul. She rarely, if ever, asks my permission to do anything so mundane like putting on make-up. I believe her theory is that she will just start doing something and gauge the response.

About a year ago I came home and the Beast looked up from her laptop and I almost fell into the deep pools of her huge eyes that seemed to swallow everything in the room. I came closer, but not too close --for safety reasons….”Your eyes look VERY large—like you have not eaten for days.”

“It is just a little make-up” she reported matter-of-factly and turned back to her computer.

I thought for a while as I made a cup of coffee…and I thought…”yes. It is just a little make-up…it is not a tattoo, it is not a nose piercing. It is a little bit of make-up that can easily wash off.”

And here I should mention that The Man and I sort of stumbled into parenthood with the idea it would be fun to have a kid around the house. We are often ill prepared for the bigger questions like the one my co-worker asked me—“What sort of message are you sending your teenager if you allow her to wear make-up?”

We are not ones to “send messages”…we have always been fairly basic in our parenting goals…I mean goal: KEEP THE CHILD ALIVE. So that is what I told my co-worker: “For heaven’s sake—it is ‘just a little make-up’—it is not going to kill them. So the girls look like ancient Egyptians…where is the harm in that? “

The tension and the terror melted from my ever nervous co-worker’s face as she broke into laughter…”You crazy.” She said.

1 comment:

JGH said...

Now I'm worried about what "message I was sending" when I sent my nieces each one of those little kits with the multicolored lipglosses for xmas. And what "message am I sending" when I put on makeup IN FRONT OF my daughter?

My little beast has developed a fondness for perfume. Lots and lots of it. I wonder what message that sends...