So, let’s talk about hair for a minute.
When I was about two years old, my father’s mother took me on a “fun day” while my mom got a break. My hair was bright red, right up until my twenties, and very curly, and when I was two, it was that adorable toddler ringlet stage–until grandma took me to the barber and got it shorn because she had hair issues.
When SHE had been a kid, her father MADE HER keep it long, right up until she turned eighteen, when she got it bobbed and thought that was THE BEST THING EVER.
She liked short hair so much that when her grown son–my uncle–came back from Korea and wanted to grow a beard while he lived at home and earned his MBA, she snuck into his room the night before Easter service and shaved a strip out of it so he could be clean shaven for the pastor at Easter.
So, when she had a granddaughter (me) she took every chance she could get to take me to the barber and chop my hair off to above my ears.
The last time was in sixth grade.
My stepmother was furious.
If there is one thing I have learned from being her pixie-cut surrogate it was to let girls wear their hair ANY MOTHERFUCKIN’ WAY THEY WANT TO. It’s THEIR GODDAMNED HAIR. Sure. Tell them that you love their hair when it’s long–I mean, the pictures here are shit, but have you SEEN my daughters’ hair when it’s long? Both of them? It’s stunning. Just… *flails* FRICKIN’ GORGEOUS.
But Chicken got her hair bobbed to her ears and it’s adorable. And Squish has just liked her hair in her standard braid for the past four or five years, and I’m good with that. Every morning she wakes me up and I braid it for her, and she goes off to school and I usually fall back into bed for an hour.
But Squish wanted her hair bobbed.
She was gonna get it cut.
Today was going to be her last hurrah–she told all her friends she was going to chop it off to her ears–she’d pulled up pictures of Molly Ringwald (one of three redheaded teenaged actresses that’s not bullied or dead in a supernatural swimming pool, thank you very much), and she was going to get her hair bobbed and adorable and be cuter than a bug in a rug.
I was… well, I wasn’t fine. But I was honest. “I love your hair, and I’m going to miss it. But it’s YOUR HAIR. I want you to be happy with your hair, and I’m pretty sure once it’s bobbed, I’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner because it will be super super cute.”
She was game.
So tonight I took the above pictures, to prove to her friends that it was down to her bottom when it was washed and combed, and then I braided her hair.
She started to cry while I was braiding it. She was inconsolable.
“It’s okay, sweetheart. You don’t have to. Nothing’s irrevocable until the first cut’s made.”
“Let’s just not,” she sobbed. “Let’s just not.”
So she’s not.
And I’m frankly relieved.
Because she’ll have time to look like Molly Ringwald, I hope. She’ll have time to bob it and be waifish and pouty and worry about her boobs.
But right now she’s my Squish for just a little longer, and gotta admit, I’m fine with that.
But I know it’s around the corner.
Some day, she’s going to be fine with it and I will no longer have to wake up to braid it down to her ass and then fall asleep.
But I was honest. It’s her hair. It’s her choice. And when it happens, she’ll look super super cute.
But not today, puberty.