The power of a hug

A Facebook status repost from last week in honour of National Hugging Day

High stress in the Cockram family tonight. Girls have big projects due yesterday and I’m revamping my talk for Saturday for the 50th time. And here we are when everything is due, between the three of us, we can’t understand the instructions, can’t find a stapler, the printer ink runs out, we’re in each other’s way, the hands on the clock move faster, the phones are ringing and beeping, and no one has the emotional resources to help each other.

Between us we’re quivery chinned or frantic in the eyes and all feeling slightly car sick. I stopped speaking in full sentences a long time ago because, do I have to?

Then Fifi walks by and accidentally gives me a hug, because hugging is a habit to her. She didn’t mean to, though, and pulls away to return to her stress. But that tiny act of reaching out is contagious and she comes back when I call her and we promise to get it together.

Hugs, so cute and so powerful, one of the biggest reminders of what’s important and one of the best ways to say “you’re important.”

Where’s J-M in the midst of all this? Out getting printer ink of course and it’s taking him a really, really long time. He’s a smart man to know just when to leave. But he’s missing out on these hugs. Now look at me, I’m smiling and getting my kids ice water and giving them kisses on the forehead.

I’m going to talk about hugs on Saturday instead of beauty maybe. Everything is going to be just fine.

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Going Grey @ 7 Months: What’s Underneath

This is my brother, Mark.

Mark Grey

He thinks it is a terrible idea for me to go grey.

I’ll give you a sec to think that one through.

I asked J-M if it would be wrong to post Mark’s picture, seeing as I’d be ungraciously outing him for an obvious double standard. J-M paused, then suggested I should add arrows.

Now we’re talkin’! Like this?

Mark Grey Arrows

This guy thinks I shouldn’t go grey. He says it’s a TERRIBLE idea.

Interestingly enough, it’s only been over the last few weeks that I’ve discovered just how much I am greying like my brother, with those J. Jonah Jameson silver temples.

j-jonah-jameson

That has been an interesting part of the experiment, realizing what weirdos your hair follicles are. The right side of my head is much whiter than the left. There are parts that are mostly brown (at the back) and only a little bit of salt with the pepper at the top of my head and bangs. If I had a brush cut, I’d look like my bro, but since I wear my hair down and long, it hides the grey underneath and it confuses people. Sophia suggested I tell people I’m going mousey greyish brown instead.

I have turned a corner since my last update. It happened quite by surprise when a friend tagged me in this article showing 26-year-old actress, Zosia Mamet, who decided to colour her hair “antique grey.”

Zosia-Mamet - grey hair

I don’t even know who Zosia Mamet is. Wait, now I do, I just Googled her.

That’s another side effect of aging, I don’t recognize anyone on magazine covers anymore. While I’m in line at the drug mart, People Magazine tells me they’re famous, so they must be. But as far as I’m concerned they just look like the girls who go to my kids’ high school. Mallory, isn’t that girl from your math class? You should tell her to put on a sweater. I feel a small comfort when I see Julia Roberts or Jennifer Aniston in the magazine stands – yes, I recognize these people – and Oprah’s a constant, so that puts me at ease.

Anyway, Zosia’s new hair has made her a little more famous in the middle-aged circles as this article was shared around Facebook. My first reaction was, “No, no, no, no, no, no! Grey does not belong to the young! She has not earned this!”

Crazy, right? Since last month I was sad-ish about it and this month, I’m defending it as a prize. My reaction showed me that I do indeed believe that grey hair is a treasure, only for those who have been through some significant years of experience. Through such experiences, we have also received stretch marks, wrinkles, minor sun damage, and, hopefully, a bigger, better understanding of the world around us and our place in it. Grey hair is an honourable, outward expression of our inward maturation. (Wow, does it feel good to feel good about grey hair again.) But when young adults or teens colour their hair grey it feels like a white lie.

But if that’s true, if the young do not “deserve” Gun Metal Grey, do the middle-aged deserve the Medium Roasted Chestnut or Luminous Honey Golden Blonde?  I suppose fair’s fair – we started this, borrowing from our youth, we can’t be upset if the young want to mimic old age. Perhaps we should be complimented.

Then, another friend sent me this article that grey hair is an actual, bona fide trend for 2015!

Grey-Hair-Leads-the-Way-for-Colour-Trends-in-2015

Grey Hair Leads the Way for Beauty Trends in 2015

I let myself become thrilled that I might be TRENDY. I encouraged my baby sister to go grey too!

“Becky! What do you think! Everybody’s doing it!”

I told you, I don’t have any grey,” she said.

“Oh no! Poor you!” I said.

I’ll let you know she is also against my growing out my grey, but posting her picture doesn’t have the same effect as posting my brother’s. But she’s still cute, so… here.

Image by Stephanie Ironside (Iron & Bragg)

Image by Stephanie Ironside (Iron & Bragg Photography)

Now I’m starting to see this in a couple different ways. When grey hair goes trendy and the starlets and young ones try it on for size, it could actually be a good thing as it puts a premium on grey hair, perhaps a small improvement from when we were collectively devaluing it (if not for others, than for ourselves). Maybe it gives us the push we need to explore it for our own heads or embrace it when our friends/siblings do.

After reading the Zosia article, I contacted my hair stylist. “Barb, can we do something about this? Can I just colour my hair grey??” I was elated to think that I could cut out the time-dragging part of this experiment and move straight to trendoid!

Barb is not only the best cutter and colourist, but she is a good friend and I’ll tell you why. She asked very tactfully if it wasn’t important for me to go through the whole process? She could do it – strip my hair and then add a fashionable granny grey toner to it… but it wouldn’t match my current hair growth, of which I have already put in seven long months. More importantly, it might be skipping a valuable process – the learning that only comes with the experience of growing it out. I was trying to skip out on the meaningful stuff.

Wasn’t she kind to remind me of that? To actually turn me down so that I can reach my goal for my hair and for my soul. It’s selfless really.

You know, another time (more recently than I like to admit), I asked her if I should get a perm and she didn’t laugh at me. She’s a keeper.

So this is me, with my mousey grey brown hair roots and J. Jonah Jameson temples hiding underneath, at 7 months.

Grey - 7 months with arrows

By the way, that’s my friend Sharon with me in the pictures on the right. She is my exact same age and not a stitch of grey. Poor thing.