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The Saddest Compliment in the World

Jane has worked hard both in school and in sports. Mr. G. and I love that our children are smart and certainly we praise them for their natural abilities. Just as a workplace would, we reward them when they work hard.

Jane killed it on the soccer field this weekend and she’s been dying for highlights in her hair. So, after two goals and and a 3.5 GPA (we’ll talk about the B’s another time because they do have me unhappy) we decided that work begets reward and we walked to the salon at the corner for Jane’s first hair color.

The stylist has watched my kids grow from toddlerhood to now. She’s a soccer player and it was nice watching her talk to Jane about how important it is to be part of a team. She then put a few strands of bluish blonde color onto Jane’s hair which brought up a little bit of lighter streaks. I didn’t mention that Jane already has these streaks in her hair, but it made her so happy that I didn’t want to ruin her good time.

I was floored when it was time to pay for the dozen small streaks and found out that it was $70. Jane didn’t even have a blow dry. The good thing is that I asked plenty of questions of since I’ve been doing my own hair color for the past handful of years I feel equipped to add highlights as needed for about $10 an application.

As I stood at the counter writing out my check Jane popped over and kissed me on the cheek complete with a, “Thank you mommy.” Most often I’m Mom, but when I’m writing checks they switch it up to Mommy. The two women at the desk smiled and said how sweet she was. I smiled back and nodded. Then they went on to tell me how they never see kids thanking their parents.

I tried to defend the neighborhood kids, “Well, who would thank their mom for a haircut?”

“It’s for highlights, and tips.” Said one.

“And manicures.” Said the other.

They went on and on to list the very expensive services teenage girls get and the fact that they very seldom hear thank you’s and almost never see a kiss.

I felt pleased for myself that I’m raising a girl who knows just how lucky she is. It was nice to hear from strangers that my daughter is lovely, but it was incredibly sad that her kindness would be seen as unusual.