The pink safety scissors held purposefully in her hand, and a stunningly proud smile on her face.
“I am so beautiful!”
She looked up at me, triumphant in her newly crafted splendor.
Honey, you are always beautiful, inside and out, and I will always love you…were the thoughts that crashed into my head.
My baby girl.
Her first hair cut, and I missed it.
We all missed it.
Her first hair cut. I knew it was coming, but thought we could wait a few more months. Perhaps wait until the gently curled locks reached all the way down her back.
I envy her curls. The way her hair always seems to be perfect even when not brushed. The way it frames her eyes and brings up images of storybook princesses. Such a contrast to my straight, lifeless hair.
Her first hair cut – by her own hand. I knew it was coming, too.
I had braced myself for the time-honored tradition of little girls cutting their own hair. A right of passage. An enthusiastic step on the way to womanhood.
I just wasn’t ready for it right then.
Seeing her standing there in the bathroom, her precious pink scissors in hand and inches of hair on the ground, I was frozen.
I had no inclination to yell or scream, but just to hug her.
Then the parental reminder that I needed to make sure she knew not to do it again.
“It’s okay mommy, it will grow back.” Both my kids told me.
It will grow back, slowly, very slowly, but it will grow back.
My mind was moving quickly ahead to all the decisions she would make in the future.
All those decisions about her body and her life that she would face.
Some, like this, would be innocent enough with no permanent damage. She just wanted to be like me, thinking that it was the right thing to do after seeing me trim by out-of control bangs. I couldn’t blame her, and I knew she wouldn’t do it again. Sometimes we can only learn by doing, and this was one of those times.
Yet, there will be many decisions she won’t be able to take back.
Decisions about school work, driving, friendships, and sex. Decisions about so many things…
Here, now, I can hug her and tell her fully and truthfully that I love her and she is beautiful. I could almost last – if it wasn’t for my primal urge to destroy the scissors.
Will I be able to hug her later? Tell her I love her? That she is beautiful?
Will I be there for it? Will she? Will we have the close relationship we have now?
The hair will grow back, and with it, a renewed determination to hold onto the moments as they go by, and do everything I can to make sure I can support her on this journey, the way she needs me to.
Lord, help me be a good mother to my children. Help me guide them, but most importantly, help me be a safe place in their life. Guide me so that my needs and my stuff do not get in the way of being their Mom. Amen.