In other words. She is over the top super-sassy-girly. But she is missing one really important girl accessory.
And even though her brother was born with thick full locks, she was bald. Like her PawPaw. People kept assuring me that their little girls were bald too. And that it would grow. Her first birthday came and went. No ponytail. Then her second and we could pull just a few strands into pigtails. And then her third all with very little progress on the hair front.
Right now she is three and half and still can’t really rock a pony tail.
It has grown of course. But slow and stringy and super fine.
Uneven and occasionally matted in the back, well lets just say it is a good thing she has such pretty brown eyes….
I’ve tried bows and hats and clippies and they can only do so much. When I visit her classroom all the girls in her class have shiny locks halfway down their backs with braids and hair accessories to make even Rapunzel jealous.
This morning her hair looked particularly awful and I decided that I’d take her in for a hair cut. I know that the old wives tail about cutting your hair makes it grow faster isn’t exactly true. But I figured it couldn’t hurt. So after lunch I loaded her up and went out to get my girl a new do.
She seemed a little nervous as we pulled up, asking apprehensively if getting her hair cut hurt. “No baby girl”, I assured her. “Your hair can’t feel. It won’t hurt at all.”
But the truth is that losing something you want so badly always hurts. Even if it is for the best.
Someone called our name and she asked how I wanted Tess’s hair cut. I told her it had never been cut and I was just hoping to jump start it a little. Clean it up. She got the apron on her, tried to run her comb through my girl’s fine mess….and might have even used the word mullet. She said that a trim would really make it look better. She said her hair was so fine and brittle that it was breaking off faster than it was growing in. And she suggested taking off a full inch and evening it out.
I was so desperate for her to have more hair that I never bothered to trim off the unhealthy parts. And this was causing it to break faster than it could come in.
Sometimes it is hard to see growth if there is damage.
A good gardener will tell you that plants need to be pruned. The dead and damaged parts need to be removed so the plant’s resources are redirected to other areas.
I used to be an average tennis player. (these days I’m just an ex-average tennis player). But I had a coach once who spent hours re-teaching me how to serve. I had a decent and consistent serve, but if I want to have a good serve…I needed to change everything about how I hit the ball. It meant that instead of usually hitting it in the right box, I was double faulting. But eventually, I started faulting less and getting more aces. Because sometimes, you have to get worse before you get better.
My hair hasn’t been cut in six months or more. And I am desperate for a new do. Because I am desperate to be different. For a little while now I have felt stuck. Like I know the areas that I need to grow and change and I swear I keep taking steps in those directions. But I mostly just feel like I am walking backwards. Probably because I haven’t been willing to get rid of the damaged parts.
And frankly, more than just my hair needs a trim.
Tess sat there while the sweet hairdresser snipped bigger chunks of her hair off than I was hoping for. Gave her a little bit of bang and some cute layers, so that as it did grow in it would look fuller. I tucked a little curl into my wallet and kept telling her how cute she looked.
She said there was so little to cut, that she would only charge me for a bang trim.
We got home and I had to stop her brother short from telling her she looked like a boy. We put in a heart clippie and painted her nails and she pranced around the living room. It is definitely shorter. And when I met her daddy, his mop was easily longer than hers, but it does look better. The stringy mullet-y parts are gone. What is left seems so much healthier. More even. Shiny.
Like it is ready to grow.
And I think I’ll follow her lead and get a new do of my own.