Five years old. Hair past her waist. It was time. Time for the First Haircut. We’d been putting it off because her hair is so beautiful and it had curls at the end and because, frankly, I couldn’t deal. With the passage of time, the snip of the scissors, any of it. I don’t want to lose my curls, she said. So we waited and waited some more. But it was time. And so I said. We are going to do this, but we will have a party. A Haircut Party! There will be lunch. There will be toys!
I made the appointment. Two, actually. Middle Girl was up for one too. And so we walked there. It was Sunday and it was a rainy mess of a day. And they all walked ahead, my creatures did, and I of course snapped pictures. Because I didn’t know what else to do.
And my Big Girl? She carried her rainbow umbrella (and her paper towel roll telescope). And skipped on ahead, her long hair, her baby hair, tumbling down, swinging in her wake. One last time.
And my Middle Girl? She wore neon. Neon pink. And she was all smiles. Along for the ride.
And Baby Girl? She was oblivious and aware, both at once.
And we got there and checked in. And they eyed it. The pink airplane. They were ready for their ride.
And my Big Girl. I lifted her up and a kind lady snapped that plastic protective apron thingie around her neck and turned on a cartoon and combed through her long beautiful locks. And I stood there with a lump in my throat and my phone in my hand and I said to this woman, It’s her first. Her first haircut. And the woman smiled and said something through her smile: I know.
And she kept combing.
And then she did it. She cut it. She cut off those curls, catching them in her hands, dropping them into a an envelope, a little normal white envelope. For me to save. And I took it, that envelope. And Big Girl was a tiny trooper, utterly unfazed, flying high in that little pink airplane, watching a cartoon. And I felt them. The tears. Rising. But I didn’t let them fall. Because there was a mirror there and she would see.
And her little sister went next. Climbing up. Ready to go. And there were more scissors and snips. Another envelope. Two of them now. And I clutched them in my hands, and I forced a smile. A smile that would, in time, shake less and become real.
And my baby? She sat. In the little red firetruck. She crooned her non-sensical and beautiful commentary. And I looked at her there, and felt profoundly thankful for her baby-ness, thankful that her hair is there but still short. One day, baby, I said. One day. There will be a third envelope. But not yet.
After. They got lollipops. And certificates. And we said thank you. And left. And it was raining more than before and all the lunch spots were packed with people and there was no room for us, for our party, and the baby began to cry and ask for her nap and so. And so Daddy took the baby home and I took the big girls, the girls with cut hair, to the toy store.
And they picked. A Sleeping Beauty Barbie for Middle. A stuffed turtle for Big.
What’s his name? I asked.
She looked up. Smiled. Rainbow, she said. My turtle’s name is Rainbow!
And we made our way home. And once inside, we kicked off our sopping boots. And words spilled from me: What a yucky day, guys!
And Middle Girl looked up at me, blue eyes bright, hair wet with rain, and said something I will not forget. Not ever.
Mommy it’s not a yucky day! It’s a yummy day!
And I looked at her and I smiled, everything else washing away, and fast. Because she was right.
A yummy day.
Any first haircut stories? Anyone else amazed at the brilliant bits that come from these tiny people?