Husband just told me that there’s horse hair in the car. Figured I’d been to the barn and loved on daughter’s horse, thus transferring horse hair to the car. The problem is that I visited the horse yesterday, when he was driving the car that he thinks has horse hair in it from my visit to the barn that occurred when he had the car.

Confused? I was too.

Because it’s not horse hair. It’s my hair.

I drove the car on Tuesday. I got a haircut on Tuesday. My hair was short to begin with and now it’s shorter, but not short enough. I may have to get it trimmed some more this afternoon, so it will stand up on top and be spikey.

And it will start to be its natural color, which is a mystery to me since it hasn’t been its natural color since 1977 or thereabouts.

It’s CG’s fault. Yes, I’ve been too chicken to see what shade of steel grey is naturally growing from my head. I used to pay a professional to color my hair, but haven’t done that in quite some time. I have, however, become rather adept in doing it myself so that it at least appears to be a hair color that does occur in nature, on people. Just not on this people.

To me, grey hair is a badge of honor. Something that you earn from years of being a grown-up and dealing with grown-up issues the way a grown-up is supposed to. My mom has beautiful hair; her sister has beautiful hair. They’ve earned it. My mom earned it from years of working hard to take care of me and my dad, and her parents, and her siblings. She earned it working in corporate America, being a strong woman in a man’s world, telling the truth instead of saying what she knew people wanted to hear. She earned it from living through the illnesses and passing of her parents and my dad, her partner through forty-three years of growing up and grown-up life. She earned it by leaving her hometown and moving here to be with us.

Now she’s entering a new arena, uncharted territory. She’s in love, and it’s an amazing thing. My baby girl hasn’t really fallen for a boy yet, just her horse. But the symptoms are the same. She talks about her love; when she can’t be with her love, she wants to be, and counts the days or hours until she can be with him again. She wants to know everything about him, and each new detail adds another piece to the unfolding map of him. She wants to learn about his interests, and wants to share her interests with him. She wants to try things she’s never tried before, because he enjoys doing them.

The first time I saw my daughter gallop around the ring on her horse I was terrified and elated, all at the same time. Terrified: what if she falls off? What if she loses control of her horse? She could get hurt, very badly. Elated: man does that look like fun! They are both, girl and horse, having an absolute blast doing this. Yes, it looks scary, but look at them together! They aren’t scared; they’re having too much fun to be scared. Little girl lost some confidence with her riding abilities and is now afraid to gallop. I’ve encouraged her to try it again. Her abilities are more than adequate; she just needs to get past her fear.

Now I see my mom, preparing to do her own gallop around the ring. But this time I feel much elation; little fear. She knows enough about the things that should terrify her, and me. And yes, it looks a little scary to both of us. But, oh is she having fun!

It’s a picture of joy.

Back to my “horse” hair.

The question is not about whether or not I can handle the display of my hair’s natural color.

The question is: have I earned the right to wear it?


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