Sunday, February 24, 2013


It's been several months since L gave herself that dramatic hair cut, and she's been stoic at the pace of its growth. The girl wants braids and ponytails and the fancy 'dos that her sister spends so much time devising, but she's calmly aware that she cut some of her hair down to a quarter-inch long. So we wait.

Never mind the face paint. We were at a
Purim carnival today.
I used to take her to get her hair cut at one of those kids' cartoon places, but following The Incident I began taking L to a real salon. I wanted the care and shaping of her outgrowth in the hands of a single attentive professional. And so it is that every four weeks like clockwork we visit the gentle and patient Anna, who laughs at L's wrinkled nose and lets her pump up her own chair to full height before leaping into its seat, who's learned L's cowlicks and the tendency of her stick-straight hair, like mine, to fall exactly where it wants no matter how many stylist layering tricks are employed.

I am positive that L will never impulsively cut her own hair again; we never needed to say a single word to make that come true. We've found the sweet gracious spot of nurturing her through the consequences of that day, and her private monthly ritual with Anna and the tall chair have become special to her. The second child of three doesn't usually have much to call just her own, but she has Anna, and the shampoo chair, and visiting with the little doggie who spends its days roaming the salon floor.

How long until my ponytails?! L asks or demands of Anna in lieu of greeting. "By summer, I think," Anna responded today. And L scrunched her nose in smile at her reflection in the mirror, at Anna's face behind her own.

She's so little in the big chair, so grown in her demeanor, and then small again how she can't resist making faces at her reflection. She's poised, incredibly so, through this public extension of an momentary decision. She doesn't like her hair short but doesn't begrudge the speed of its growth.

It's quite a character lesson, the patience of growing out hair, and it's being fittingly lived out my this girl who's quite a character. And so we visit the salon, and we measure its progress, and we book our next appointment.

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