For those of you who follow our Instagram and Facebook feeds (Hi Aunt Mary Lou!) this is old news. But I have to tell this story for a few reasons:
1. Because I need to process it.
2. Because people think I’m crazy to have cut Lily’s hair.
3. Because I kinda think I’m crazy to have let it happen.
Oooookay. So here we go.
Lily had been begging me for short hair for months. She kept reminding me to make appointments (which I never did) and fussing over tangles and complaining about hair stuck in her car seat straps/under her armpits/in her food. Washing and conditioning her hair was a full-scale production that often ended in tears. And her ponytails never seemed to stay put at school. Hence the tangles. And more tears.
Then I came home one day in April with my long hair chopped off and shit got real. Lily now had a huge bargaining chip (but YOU cut YOUR hair Mommy) and she rode it all the way to a little salon in small-town Ohio last week.
We were on vacation and had all the time in the world.
Julie’s stylist had an opening.
I had no more excuses.
Lily was so excited she could have skipped all the way to the salon. She climbed right up into that big chair and told the stylist that it was okay to cut off her ponytail because she was ready for short hair and she wanted to give her hair to “another kid who might not be able to grow hair.”
All of the beauty shop chatter came to a halt, and every single woman in that salon watched the big chop.
My heart sank, then soared.
Because look at this face.
And in a flash, Lily aged about 16 years. Tears still prick my eyes when I think back on that moment.
This is my baby, after all. The one born five and a half years ago with a head full of jet-black hair that stood straight up. Hair so thick and gorgeous that by the time she turned two, complete strangers marveled over it.
Her thigh rolls may have melted away and her belly thinned out and her hands losing their dimpled chub, but her hair gave me something to hold onto. A remnant of her baby-hood.
And now it’s been sculpted into a chic little ‘do.
But more than anything, there is joy.
This little girl beamed all the way back to the farm and frolicked without any hair getting in her face.
And this momma will keep trying to come to terms with it all.
First, the big-girl haircut. Next, kindergarten. Before I know it she’ll be driving a car and begging us for a later curfew.