I've been going gray since before my oldest child (who is turning 11 tomorrow, but that's a whole other post) was born. I've been coloring my hair just as long. This year I decided to go natural, and I've been struggling with it a bit. My husband doesn't really like it. Then, this afternoon I'm reading Firstlight by Sue Monk Kidd and come across the story about her daughter asking if her great-grandmother's wrinkles hurt. Kidd responds by reading The Velveteen Rabbit to her, ending with "You see, Ann, Grandma is just getting 'real.' That's all." But what really hit me was the author's further musings about how the markings of age don't matter much, except to those who don't understand. "What mattered was becoming 'real.' What mattered was loving and being loved for a long, long time."
From now on when I struggle with this part of aging I'm going to remember this story from Sue Monk Kidd and know that the most important reason I can give for why I'm doing it is because it is a part of the "real" me. A part of which I hope everyone in my life will chose to love.