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.

Hold me.

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14 Comments on the big chop

  1. So I might just be a lil emotional today, but I totally teared up reading this. Lily’s new ‘do looks fabulous & yes, you’re right to say its yet another big step towards growing up!
    Suz recently posted…Beach WeekMy Profile

    • Thanks, Suz! I felt much better after I got the words out. And she loves her haircut so much — makes it easier to push aside the sad mommy feelings. 🙂

  2. There is nothing crazy about letting your beautiful girl have some say in her appearance. I love Lily’s independence and sassy little style. She’s a girl that knows what she wants and to me that shows just how awesome her Mama is to let her spread her wings. I also cry inside just a little when Cole needs a haircut. I love his messy long hair that keeps him looking like a baby just a little bit longer. 😉
    Ann recently posted…CCC – JuneMy Profile

    • You always keep my feet planted, Ann. THANK YOU. And, hey, the more I let Lily spread her wings now, the less she’ll crave it when she’s 16, right? (Ha.) 🙂

  3. Oh, Lord have mercy. I just teared up & there’s this lump in my throat because you made this so real to everyone here.

    & the part about her hair being that bit of baby, that bit that you hold onto from the days when you didn’t have to share her with anyone in the world…I understand that feeling.

    • Thanks, BA! I love how we always seem to understand each other. One of the pleasant surprises of Lily’s haircut is that the cowlick on the back of her head is visible again — the same little swirl that made her hair stand straight up when she was a baby. Love it.

  4. Man oh man, that was beautiful. There is something about their hair, isn’t there? Mine have no attachment to it at all, so we’ve caused many a salon gasp with very calm, “Nope, really, cut it. Short.”

    She is going to love the wind on her neck!
    Amanda recently posted…Image MattersMy Profile

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