I have written in the past about Alex's aversion to make-up, bras and other feminine things. I have a number of theories about this but always try to respect Alex's choices (as much as a mother can) and waited.
In the past year my girl "suggestions" have been ignored as Alex watched one of her good friends from middle school undergo the transition from female to male. This was very confusing for Alex, and our conversations about this superceded any conversations about being a girl.
Alex has a developmental delay and this includes everything in her life. When her sister wanted to wear a bra in 8th grade, Alex did not. When Courtney wanted to experiment with make-up at 12, Alex did not, and when Courtney asked for hair highlights in 9th grade, Alex wanted her hair to be pink and orange (like the kids on the Disney channel).
I have been called to task for imposing my girlishness on Alex, and that is okay. I believe in choice, but with Alex I also believe in patience. Alex will make her own decisions in good time, she is still discovering who she wants to become. But, as with all things Alex, this will happen in her own good time.
Alex often has huge maturity jumps in her life when something big is going on, and heading to Lake Placid without her parents is one of these life growing experiences. I cherish these spurts and do my best to honor them as I can.
So, recently when she shared she was sick of her "mousy brown" hair and wanted it to be light brown before she meets her team in Lake Placid, I was all over it.
Alex is head over heals in love with her new hair and even better Nicole has a sister in law with down syndrome and it was love at first sight!