I’ve always been a bit of a clothes hoarder. I justify it by citing the few times that something I hung onto came back in style. More recently, I’ve become thankful for my hoarding tendencies because now everything in my closet seems to be fair game with my daughters. What was once mine and mine alone is now considered theirs too.
Almost overnight, my girls went from liking clothes from the kid’s section at GAP to wearing my tops, curling their hair every morning and knowing everything about the latest brands at Sephora. They are reading articles from Cosmopolitan on their Snap stories daily, much to my chagrin. With the interest in grooming that seemingly happened in a flash, the topic of hair removal came up so suddenly that I hardly had time to formulate an opinion, let alone an answer.
‘Mom, can I get my legs waxed?’
Being that we are a Caucasian family of mainly Northern European ancestry, hair removal didn’t seem like a pressing issue to me. However, my daughter in 6th grade, whose leg hair became glaringly obvious during gym class, was willing to do whatever she could to get rid of it.
Like any mother navigating new territory, I didn’t know exactly how to address it. Once I started asking around to other mom-friends, I realized many had already gone through this stage, and each had a different method of dealing with it. Unlike myself at the same age, who stole a razor from my stepdad and shaved my legs dry, cutting and nicking them the entire time, most moms I spoke to were happy to help their daughters in the hair removal process. So I took her to get her legs waxed.
It was the first and the last time.
What she didn’t learn from her late night reading of Cosmopolitan articles, was that waxing actually hurts. A lot. I’ve heard that some people have a higher pain tolerance for it, but I know personally that I found waxing my lower legs to be extremely painful. I’ve had other body parts waxed and didn’t experience the same pain, but there are a lot of nerve endings in the lower legs. My daughter was a trooper and didn’t cry, but I know she was holding back tears the entire time—wanting to be a big girl.
Her legs were nice and smooth for a long while, and she was happy after she got over the trauma of it all. She never complained to me about it, and yet she never mentioned waxing again. However, once when she was out grocery shopping with my husband, she turned to him and said, ‘Dad, can you get me some of that Veet stuff?’
Growing up so fast, yet still a little girl.