Thursday, May 31, 2007

Rules To Dye For

I think that it is safe to say that we survived graduation, my dad's visit, and the graduation party. We can now get down to the business of summer vacation and, for Brooke, living as an adult. She is not yet 18 but high school graduation does bring with it the expectation that one will act a little older and a little more responsibly.

Today Brooke took her first big step as one who is free of school rules. She survived twelve years of private school dress code - plaid skirts and white blouses were really not her thing. She did OK with the public school rules, and she even wore :"proper" shoes for graduation. All and all, I consider these things marks of success. But, it is all over now.

I promised a picture of "my angel" as she appeared in The Laramie Project. The angels appeared in the scene where Fred Phelps,the conservative preacher, is protesting at Matthew Shephard's funeral. The angels encircle him as a peaceful protest to his message.

A picture perfect angel, don't you think? Oh come on, humor me just this once! Notice the long cherubic curls.

Well, the long curls are gone. After hating the haircut that she had when she was two because "it was so short it made me look like a boy" (She was bald until that point so any haircut was an accomplishment.), Brooke chose to get her hair cut really short.

This is what whacked off naturally curly hair looks like. I think it is a pretty good look for a college freshman. When she rolls out of bed at 7:55 for an 8:00 class, the fact that her hair always looks like she just rose from a three day nap will not give away the fact that she has only been conscious for five minutes. Really, I do think it is cute.

Then there is the front. This is the part that harkens back to having followed the rules long enough.

No, the various colors are not the result of bad lighting for this picture. They were carefully chosen - the miracle of modern hair dye! School rules said that a child's hair must remain a natural color. It did not have to be their natural color, just a natural color. Unless clown wigs are considered natural, this definitely would not have passed the test! But, school is over and hey, it is just hair anyway. In six weeks the color will have faded and it will be time to try something different. It is summertime, time to have a little fun and show a little whimsy - the whimsy is a big step for Brooke. Though she is way out there on the inside, this side of her rarely makes it to the outside.

So, Brooke's first major decision as an adult is to dye her hair. This is the future of our country. Are you scared? This is the brightest of the brightest. Are you scared now? As salutatorian, she was interviewed by the newspaper. They asked her what advice for success she would share with upcoming high school students. She said, do your homework, don't do drugs, and learn to drink coffee. Not such bad advice. Do you feel a little better about the future?

This is the face of a happy kid, one from whom I expect great things. She plans to major in neuroscience. I have to believe that one who is willing to think outside the box personally will do the same professionally. It is those that are willing to take such risks that accomplish greatness in terms of research. Only time will tell . . .

The only person who does not like it is Erin. She seems to be embarrassed by her rainbow-headed sister. I keep telling Erin that Brooke will be gone in a few months. She will not be a source of embarrassment for much longer. Come September, someone else will have to fret over her hair - and the tattoo that Brooke is threatening to get when she turns eighteen