We walked into the kiddie salon and her eyes got wide.
Bright colors, loud music, toys everywhere.
I reached for her hand and led her over to the stylist, who hoisted her into the big blue chair, draped a smock over her shoulders and handed her a cup of animal crackers. They became fast friends after Sophie showed off her latest boo-boo.
Just a few inches off, I said. Please keep it long enough for a ponytail. And I want that curl. (The extra-blonde one at the very bottom that I’ve run my fingers through a thousand times.)
After being assured that the scissors wouldn’t “hurt her hairs,” Sophie settled in with the cookies and a cartoon. She’d peek at the mirror occasionally, fascinated by all the activity around her head.
And I sat with an anxious grin, gripping my mom-camera and marveling over how quickly this baby is becoming a litle girl. Then I got a glimpse of her tiny sparkly shoes (her choice for this special outing) peeking out from under the smock, and the lump in my throat grew three sizes.
Here you go, the stylist said. (Such a sweet woman. I wish I could remember her name.) I looked down at the tiny plastic bag she pressed into my palm. Little wisps of baby hair for me to keep.
Oh, Soph. This growing up business is so wonderfully awesome and heart-wrenching at the exact same time. I hate to break it to you, little (big) girl, but you’ll always be my baby.