My middle daughter got her hair cut last week. Yes, the daughter whose hair has hardly even been trimmed for her whole life. She was ready to get rid of her trademark long mane, and she wanted to do it before she returned to school after the holiday break so she could surprise everybody. She wanted a little bit of shock and awe, I think.
“Do not put anything online about this yet, Mom,” I was instructed. She knows me pretty well, so no matter how much I wanted to post a before and after shot, I respected her wishes and let her drop her bombshell. I must admit, it was fun to hear the reactions of the few friends she allowed to see it before yesterday.
I was conflicted about the whole experience. I had long hair in school, too, though not as long as hers. And I remember the freedom I felt in getting it cut – my whole head felt lighter. I also remember how sad my father was, and I can certainly empathize with him right now. She was very ready for a transformation, but I knew it marked an ending of sorts. I could always find her in a room of people by looking for her hair, and I could describe her in one sentence so people could identify her. People commented on her hair and admired it. I basked in the reflected glow. But her hair is not her, and she’s happy with the change. That makes me happy with it, too.
I can still bask; she will always glow.