“You can choose to shave. But you have to brush your teeth.”

IMG_3147The day came, two weeks ago, when I had his and her electric and regular razors, cream hair remover, his and her shaving cream – foamy and creamy, post shave balm, and aftershave on the bathroom counter.

His on one side. Hers on the other.

I let the essentials rest there for a few days, wanting to normalize the fact that, yes, 12-year-olds do grow hair and yes, some 12-year-olds would like it to disappear.

I had brought up shaving to Antonio a couple of years ago. I am very cognizant that Antonio is the only male in our house so he often is inundated with information before its time. With Crystel, I wait for a cue.

Our neighbor, Lynda, works at Bella Salon and Spa. It was natural to call and make an appointment for a lip and brow wax for Crystel, brow wax for me, and a lip wax for Jody.

I mean, if it’s a cue, it’s a cue, right?

With Antonio away on a school trip, we made it a girls’ night out.

Antonio had already let me know about how he felt about his mustache. His Uncle Marty was over for a visit, and even though I reminded Antonio a number of times, of what a great opportunity this was (Crystel was away on a school trip), what great timing, how serendipitous, he just couldn’t get a scissors and open the packaging that held his electric shaver and all those cool attachments.

He just dropped his voice as low as he could. “Nope.”

We three girls tried our electric shaver first. Crystel found out very quickly that she didn’t enjoy having her hair pulled and cut by a million tweezers. Soon we were on to the razors, each of us with a leg in the bathtub.

Hmmm. Now, there. There is possibility.

Her choice.

But the brushing of teeth? Nope. That’s not a choice. (Said in a Mom’s voice).

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This entry was posted in adolescent, Growing up, Raising children and tagged , , , , by Elizabeth di Grazia. Bookmark the permalink.

About Elizabeth di Grazia

An artist, I follow the nudge inside of me. This nudge led me to write Peace Corps stories, find the front door to the Loft, and to graduate from Hamline’s MFA program. The story that became my thesis for Hamline is woven into my book manuscript: HOUSE OF FIRE: From the Ashes, A Family, a memoir of healing and redemption. It’s a story about family. And a story about love–for my partner Jody and the son and daughter we adopted from Guatemala. Most days, I can be found working as a Human Resource Manager for a foundry in Minneapolis. When I am not at the foundry I may be volunteering as a Police Reserve Officer for Richfield, MN or kicking butt at Kor Am Tae Kwon Do.

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