Sunday, March 22, 2009

Requiem for a curl

The hair I love, it was starting to get a little scraggly. I said to E yesterday, "you know your hair is really getting long enough that we should either start putting it up in clips or ponytails every day, or we should cut it." She surprised me by not hesitating: let's cut it!

She's never had a hair cut and I wanted her to be sure, and I wanted her not to freak out, so I told her we could think about it for a week and then decide. She adamantly repeated herself: let's cut it, I said! And then she asked what would happen and I tried to explain it to her and she said, I think we shouldn't cut it because I can't sit still. After a little discussion we decided we would go today to the children's hair place and just watch a haircut, and we could decide after we watched.

She watched, and wasn't so sure, and we left and had lunch. Then she wanted to go watch again, and while we were inside she said she wanted to cut it.

She was amazing. No fussing, no squirming, and she even smiled when the stylist told her how big she looked.

One thing was clear, though: as the stylist cut her beautiful curls away, the hair didn't sproing up to form new ones. Those curls were baby curls, and the newer growth is pretty straight. She has about two inches of waviness left on the ends, and when we cut that, she's going to have stick-straight hair, just like her mama.

When she was still in utero, I used to tell her to take my nice straight toes and her dad's thick, wavy hair. She never has liked being told what to do. She apparently didn't listen on either count.

But, she looks very beautiful. And very, very big.

March 22, 2009
Portrait of our two short-haired terriers.

At bedtime tonight I told her again how beautiful her new 'do looks, and I told her that I was very, very proud of her for how she handled the haircut. She asked what I meant and I told her I was worried she might get upset in the chair. She said, why were you worried that, Mama?

I loved that question because it showed that she was surprised by my worry -- that it had not been in her personal plan to get freaked out by a haircut. Through my mind, crowded like marathon runners just past the starting line, I thought: because sometimes you change your mind without warning. Because sometimes you don't like feeling wet. Because sometimes you don't like it when people you don't know touch you because sometimes you don't like it when people you know really well touch you because sometimes you get angry if people you don't know talk to you or even look at you and because to get your hair cut, someone was going to touch you, and touch your hair, and touch your head, and touch your neck, and probably talk to you and most likely look at you and probably anticipate a response from you when she said hi to you and oh, I don't know, you're such a hand grenade when it comes to any of these circumstances, and you hadn't even had a nap, and wow am I glad this worked out okay and didn't scar you for haircutting life leading you to become one of those weirdos with an eight-foot braid and too many stray cats.

I thought maybe we did a good job of preparing you with descriptions of what would happen and maybe we did a good job anticipating your touchpoints and maybe you're just growing into your own and can go with the flow a little bit now, but whatever the explanation for how well today went, whatever we call it,

it and your surprise at my worry and your tidy new look,

it means you really are getting very big, my big girl. Pin It


musing said...

I think you both handled that very well. :)

Kelly (conversemomma) said...

Jack has gotten three haircuts. Two of them were miserable experiences. He raged. I had a stomach in knots heading off to the third, but something changed. He walked in, picked a chair, chatted with the haircutter, and received a lollipop all smiles. I was the one who broke down in tears at the milestone.