That’s the sound of my apron strings being severed, one at a time.
Today my almost-fourteen-year-old-going-on-thirty-four girl child had an appointment to get her hair trimmed. Her first day of Classical Conversations is Monday, and I figured it would be nice to get those curls evened out. We talked about styles on the way to the hairdresser, and I distinctly remembering advising her to keep it at the same length..but perhaps vary the style…add some long bangs, frame the face, etc. However, I told her, “It’s your hair and your head! You can make your own decisions.”
After last semester’s fiasco of my perfectionism flaying into her spirit, I am biting my tongue (and my fingernails) and letting my girl stretch her wings. I figured a haircut would be a great start….
So we went to Mary Jo, who has been cutting our hair for about a year now and has always done an excellent job. My daughter’s main goal was to make it easier to fix her hair and to have a style that stayed out of her face.
However, In Mary Jo speak, “easy” translates into “short.” Pixie short. I cautioned my daughter to NOT let Mary Jo talk her into anything she didn’t want…and then I dug my fingernails into the palms of my hands as I told Mary Jo with gritted teeth that it was my daughter’s hair and her decision. I had to walk away after the first hunk was cut. Snip snip snip, taunted the clippers. Thonk, thonk, thonk, sounded my heart. I felt my apron string ricochet back and hit me square in the head. I did NOT want my girl to cut off all those wavy tresses. In my mind, she’s still four and likes dressing up like Cinderella and who can be Cinderella with pixie hair? Ok, so maybe now she can be Tinker Bell…
While the transformation continued, I called my mom and had a good cry, and she helped me remember a time about twenty six years ago when I also went to a hairdresser for a change. The change I got was a boy cut as we discovered I had all sorts of cowlicks that made my short hair stick up in all directions. I remember crying and wailing because I hated it. I loathed my short hair and persuaded my mom give me a perm, thinking the curls would soften things out and make me look more feminine. Not. I ended up with old lady hair crossed with Shirley Temple. It was all very traumatic to my thirteen year old self…but eventually my hair did what hair does best: it grew out.
So I took deep breaths as I approached my daughter’s chair to have a look at the transformation:
Oh. My. Goodness. There was a young woman under all that hair! She posed for me this way…
and thataway…and we decided that she needs to start wearing earrings again. Definitely.
So while her haircut is not something I would have chosen since I’m still stuck in the Cinderella Princess stage with ringlets…I am happy and proud of her for stretching her wings, for daring to be different in a funky sort of way.
(But I mourn the curls and hope one day she’ll decide to let them grow back. I can’t help it. The apron strings are pulling at my heart.)