My mom turned 81 last month. When it comes to gifts for my mom, I keep my ears peeled for clues as to what she may be wanting. Something she desires but hadn't gotten for herself or something she had wanted to do but hadn't. This past year she's mentioned problems with her hair a few times. Don't know why she hasn't made regular visits to a hair salon a part of her normal routine. Sometimes I think she may believe that because of her age it's not important or high on her list of priorities. Maybe living on such a small fixed income has kept her from spending money on herself for things she thinks are frivolous. I don't know.
But I decided it was high time she got her hair to a salon and get it whipped into shape. Her hair has turned a soft white and has grown past her shoulders. She doesn't seem comfortable with the color or the length. I can relate. I think all us women can. We know what styles work on us and when we aren't able to maintain the look, it can make us feel way off our game.
I gave her a card last month with a homemade gift certificate that bestowed a color and cut to the birthday girl. She laughed when she saw it and thanked me. I told her to let me know when and where she wanted to go. Since I'm not working I have plenty of time on my hands.
Well, a month has passed and not a word from her about the gift. So I told her we weren't waiting any longer; I'd make the appointment and decide where and when we were going. She had no choice but to go along for the ride which came for her this morning when I went to pick her up. And there she sat, coat on, purse in hand. Anxiously waiting for me. She showed me a picture she cut out of a magazine. The style she wants.
So we headed to the salon. We went to a place neither of us had been before (I did some checking and found good reviews). I could tell she was a bit nervous so I helped her voice what she wanted to the stylist. She showed my mom a hair color swatch and asked her if it matched the color she had in mind. When I saw my mom nod emphatically, I felt my confidence in the stylist rise and knew this appointment was going to work! As the afternoon wore on, I could feel my mom relaxing and the smile I caught here and there reassured me she was very happy with how the visit was proceeding. As we all made small talk, I took pictures. My mom chatted easily with the young stylist who I think was having as much fun as we were.
But as the stylist continued her cutting and snipping, my mom's hair was slowly drying. A beautiful warm honey color was emerging. And I knew the young girl had nailed the first part. And I knew my mom would love the color. So now I waited with bated breath for the style to be complete.
And there it was. Finis! And...beautiful! I watched the smile spread across my mom's face. It was what she had envisioned. And I could relate. I know that feeling. The feeling you get when the stylist says "Ok, all done" and you open your eyes, gaze in the mirror...and a new look stares back at you. Is it what you wanted? Is it the right look for you? Did you make the right choices, in color? in cut? Did the stylist get it right? And when your face stares back at you and smiles, it's such a sense of relief!
I could feel my mother's spirit lift. She eyed herself in the mirror. She ran her fingers through her hair. She primped and fluffed it a bit. She struck a pose for my camera. As we said goodbye to our stylist (who I think is about to become my mother's new go-to hairdresser), and headed out to my car, I could tell she walked a bit taller. She couldn't wait to get home and show off her new look to my dad. To have him look at her with a new appreciation. And I could relate. Can't you? Haven't you left the hair salon and was excited to show off your new self to hubby, boyfriend or girlfriends? It's a proud moment for sure. When you KNOW you look good and as a result FEEL good.
That was my day. With my mother. Sharing a simple common activity but one that as women we are on common ground. It makes my happy to know that today I made my mom feel beautiful. And made some great memories.