Today I did the unthinkable. I cut our daughter's long, gorgeous hair. I was totally cool about it in the moment, but I'm now feeling like I need a stiff drink. I'm sure to some people that sounds ridiculous --I'm sure I would have thought it sounded ridiculous three years ago-- but her hair. It really is a defining feature.
Which is, in part, why I was compliant in cutting it off.
Sprout has, in the past, expressed interest in cutting her hair. She usually takes it back when pressed though. I'm not sure what prompted this, but for the past few days she's been saying she wants short hair like her brother's. At just a few days shy of three and a half, I think she understands that the request to have short hair means she will have short hair for a while. And just in case she didn't, I may have told her a few (dozen) times. I explained that I don't know how to do really short haircuts, but that I could cut her hair shorter. She confidently marched into the bathroom and climbed into the tub --our hair-cutting location. (She's had a few previous trims in the tub.)
I think it's important to listen to what kids tell us. I also think it's important to give them some control in their lives. This haircut is about her appearance. It's not a permanent thing. It's not dangerous or unhygienic. She's entitled to a say.
Beyond that, I've had a bit of a concern for a while now that her hair was becoming the feature that defined her not to others, but that it was also becoming a key element of the way she saw herself. I didn't love that something about her appearance was such a big focus; so when she said she wanted it cut I thought, Maybe this is a good thing.
Still, hearing the scissors in my hand snip off eight inches of her hair wasn't easy for me. I know it will grow back (if she wants to grow it back) but really once I started cutting, it couldn't be undone.
Funny, this attachment I feel to her hair.
So far, she seems totally confident in her decision. I did get chastised for not cutting it short enough, but when Jen asked her at dinner what she thought of her haircut, she bluntly responded, "Good." No hint of regret.
And let's face it, it's going to be way easier to manage now. Washing it will be a breeze. It'll take just seconds to brush through in the mornings. I'm sure it won't keep it out of her eyes, but I'm not sure anything would. I have to say, I think her new hair cut will grow on me. ;)
We plan to donate Sprout's hair to Pantene's Beautiful Lengths which creates real-hair wigs for women who have lost their hair due to cancer treatment.