Our oldest daughter, Sarah, started out in life with a small fringe of dark hair.
As a toddler, it started coming in as a wispy, sunshiny blonde.
As she grew, it steadily darkened.
By age 14, you could still call her blonde, although it was a dark honey blonde by that point. But you would have been equally correct to call it light brown.
That, however, was also the year she discovered hair dye.
At age 15, she came home one day and stayed mainly in the shadows. This was because, as we were soon to learn, she was no longer a blonde. I can't remember if it was chestnut, or magenta, or somewhere in between. That was also about the time she eschewed long hair, permanently.
Her days as a blonde are part of history now.
She has been sporting a patch of bleached platinum hair on the right side of her head for at least three years.
She's been favoring the darker colors lately. In fact, she came home for Easter weekend with jet black hair.
These days, we never know what she's going to come home looking like.
I am still learning to pick my battles when it comes to raising children. When it comes to appearance, the boys aren't allowed to have mohawks, or color their hair, or let it grow unkempt. We are strongly against body ink and piercings, except for one on the girls' earlobes. However, I gave in long ago on the hair issue, at least where Sarah is concerned. Changing her hair (within reason) doesn't really hurt anyone (except her poor hair).
Today, our first baby, the one that turned us into a family, celebrates her nineteenth birthday. She was our honeymoon baby, born eight months and 27 days after our wedding. She's been with us for the entire wild ride, hopefully none the worse for wear. When I look into her face, I can't even see a shred of the child she used to be. But I am as proud to call her my daughter today as I was on the day we welcomed her into the world.