Fable, Under the Rainbow

I remember what it smelled like in the piercing parlor -- I'm sure it was a Claire's. I chose "diamond" studs with 14k gold backs. I was wearing black shorts that day, the blonde hairs on my legs catching the light... dust motes in the various streams of light I squinted against as the girl counted to three and then... POP.  I was a little older than Fable at the time and while rainbow hair was never something I would have fathomed at that age, piercing my ears felt like a rite of passage -- like here was this thing I was doing that I REALLY wanted to do...  for me. 

There is great power in that, in feeling autonomous. As a society we tend to treat our children as dependents, stifling their needs to be independent with rules that govern how they should dress, talk, be...  

I don't know that there's an exact science for where we draw the ridges in our timelines, but sitting with Fable on a Saturday afternoon, holding the foils in her hair as she nodded proudly, I couldn't help thinking SHE WILL REMEMBER THIS DAY. She will remember the smell of the dye, the frappuccino I didn't say no to, our dancing in our chairs as we waited for the rainbow to appear...

She will remember that she got to do something she REALLY wanted to do... for herself. 

...But waitwaitwait, first let me back up...

Weeks before her birthday, someone (several someones actually) sent me a link to an article about "the hidden rainbow hair craze."

Over the years, we've been sent many a rainbow link. Fable's love of rainbows has been an integral part of her being for as long as I can remember... Her teachers called her "rainbow girl." She named her fish AND her hermit crab, "rainbow," as well as her American Girl doll... Her bedroom was decorated with "rainbow power" AND MORE RAINBOW POWER and her rainbow hair clips (as well as her rainbow be-your-own-bff necklaces) became her personal style staple for two radical years...

... So, when  I showed Fable the "hidden rainbow hair" link after school one day last month, she got REALLY excited and then realllly serious/slightly pissed. 

"But why would anyone do this to hair and then HIDE IT!?" she asked. "WHY WOULD YOU HIDE YOUR RAINBOW?!"

She was right. Why hide a rainbow when you can put it out there to enjoy? When you can see it with your own eyes every. single. day?
Next thing we knew, we were searching #rainbowhair on Instagram and collecting photos to send to Skylana, my friend/hairdresser, who after receiving our 7878237 photos was like, "Yup! I can do that on Fable's head... I've never done it before but I certainly can make this happen."

Fable was elated. My inner-eight-year old was doing cartwheels.

We high-fived each other 78 times and then went back to screengrabbing every rainbow-hair image we could find.
IMG_8533 rainbow hair mood board from top left:

1. "Fable" by Fable (Fable made this the night before she got her hair done.)
2. Rainbow Bangs via fashiontrendseeker
3. Rainbow hair via @lisafarrall on Instagram
4. "Hidden rainbow hair" via BoredPanda

Fast forward to two weekends ago when Fable, on her last day as a 7-year-old, took her seat in my friend, Skylana's salon and... well... magic:
IMG_8494 IMG_8492 IMG_8495 IMG_8491 IMG_8490 IMG_8489 IMG_8488 IMG_8487 IMG_8486 IMG_8485 IMG_8484 IMG_8483 IMG_8482
IMG_8481 One hour of waiting for the color to set... IMG_8480 IMG_8479 IMG_8478 ahajkhfjkahsdkjahdkahkdsj!!! IMG_8496 And finally...
I lost it, at this point. I was laughing and crying and laugh-crying. Fable, my rainbow girl, who had wrapped herself in rainbows since her earliest days, now had one of her own living permanently (however permanently "permanently" can be) atop her head and it felt so... just... MAGICAL. 
When we came back to the house, my parents were waiting... My mom had made Fable a dress for her birthday made out of her own original design (post on that forthcoming) and everything she opened that day was rainbow-ed out...
...The next morning, on her 8th birthday, Fable woke up to a new year with rainbow hair, and amidst the birthday celebrating, she drew this self portrait:
FullSizeRender "Fable Luella, age 8"

I put it in a safe place immediately, as not to lose it like so many other treasures... I imagined her stumbling upon it later in life, maybe at my age and thinking, "I remember that day. I remember the way the salon smelled...  I remember that I was wearing red shorts... I'll never forget..."

And stumbling upon these pictures, when I'm 60 or 80 or 102, I'll feel the exact same way.