Grey Hair

I have grey hair. It’s true. If you know me well, you know that I have been going grey since I was in my early twenties. It’s been a lot of years of dying my hair, hiding roots, changing colors, and tweaking my highlights to figure out what hides my grey the best for the longest amount of time. Andrea, my hairdresser for over ten years can attest to this. My business alone has probably kept her in her size 0 jeans and adorable shirts. The truth is, I can’t hide my grey, not really, and certainly not for longer than two weeks. I have the fastest growing hair on record.

So why do I do it? Why do I, month after month, week after week, day after day, think about my grey? Why do I stare at the mirror and ask myself over and over if it’s worth it? Why do I question my family and friends and my poor husband for their opinions again and again? Why can’t I make the choice to just let it go grey? I literally sit in Mass every Sunday looking around the congregation staring at heads. “Look,” I say to myself, “she’s grey and she looks good.” Or it’s, “Would she look younger if her hair wasn’t grey?” But, does it really matter? Really? We are what we are? We look the way we look? I am 48, happily married, in a job that satisfies me, and have a family I adore. So why do I care so much? And more importantly, what messages am I passing down to my three girls?

Kids feel so much pressure today, and the thing is, I don’t know why? Most of the children I know, including my own, are deeply loved by their parents and are accepted for who and what they are. I can tell you that all of my daughters have suffered from anxiety at different times in their lives. I have been woken up late at night by one of them with something to confess, or to talk about something that is bugging them. I’ve reassured, hugged, cried, and laughed with them about their anxiety. Where is all this pressure coming from?

I don’t believe in high stakes testing. I don’t believe that all students are college bound, but I believe that if they want to go to college and succeed their, they can. I truly believe that all students can learn and can reach higher potentials than I can even imagine. I believe that all children are incredibly intelligent in their own ways and I believe that if we let them be who they are meant to be then their God given gifts and talents will come out and they will succeed. We need laborers, idea people, sales people, technicians, community representatives, construction workers, lawyers, teachers, artists, and builders. Why the pressure? Why not allow children to explore their interests, to find out what they are passionate about, and realize that they can work in a field that they love for a very long time.

We put so much pressure on ourselves to be perfect. But what is perfect and who defines what perfect is? Shouldn’t we be looking at everyone as an individual and accept them for who they are, even if they have grey hair? As educators, instead of stressing over the upcoming tests, shouldn’t we be teaching our children that learning is what’s important, not how best to answer a multiple choice answer? I mean, really think about it….I have to take a test to earn a principal’s license in less than a month. The questions don’t has for the correct answer, but for the “best” answer. So what this means is that ALL the answers are correct, but someone has decided that one is MORE correct than the others. How is this fair? When have we decided that every situation that a principal faces is the same and the steps to solving complex problems involving people only has one best answer. It’s ridiculous and I can tell you that I have been stressed about this exam for over a year. If I feel this stressed about a high pressure test after doing a 455 page study guide, after buying a study guide and purchasing test practice cards and going over tests questions over and over again, just think how much a wreck a third grader is on the opening day of state tests. The idea to conform to the set beliefs of others is overwhelming. We can’t continue to do this to our children.

1 Comment

  1. Celeste

    Lori, I share your concerns over high stakes testing, it send all of the wrong messages to kids. No child should have to be stressed at that level so young. I’ve watched way too many great kids cry because of the pressure these tests put on kids.

    Embrace the grey!

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