I knew it would have to happen eventually. We flirted with it in principle, then it became more pressing, something that had to move beyond concept and actually take place.
I am, of course, talking about cutting Finley’s hair.
She turned 3 in late April and has never had a haircut.
How do you touch this?
Finally she turned to me and said, “Mom, can we go to the mall and get my haircut?” My jaw dropped and then I spied her sisters. I realized that they knew I would do this and that conveniently located at the mall is a bounce house dungeon, I mean palace.
“Of course we can.” I squeaked. You see her hair, though I worship every corkscrew and wisp, gets stuck in her armpits. During meals it catches all manner of condiment (and, full disclosure, main course). She sits still for braids, but she often cries at the detangling process.
We brokered a deal to hit the bounce house after haircuts, little did I know it would turn into a full-blown, “Give me the works” deal with each girl getting her hair not just cut, but shampooed and blown dry (B didn’t get her hair dried, but I’ll explain that). Avery went first and while she waited, Finley allowed me to snap a before picture.
The salon started to fill up just as the girls began to get a little rowdy. I got nervous realizing that the hairdressers had served us to fill dead-time and that we had officially entered the time of scheduled appointments. I tried to keep the girls calm, but a squeaky, slippery floor, the multiple piercings of one of the women, the novelty of the whole experience and an audience just fueled their shenanigans. I began to sweat, so much so that the front of my shirt started to spot.
Then the mother of the 7 year old waiting for a haircut started to get annoyed. They were 15 minutes past their appointment. She had every right to be livid, I was halfway there on her behalf, suffering with how slow it seemed to be going and regretting that we couldn’t just enjoy it. They finished Avery’s cut, then Finley’s and were about to style Briar’s when I subtly pssted at one of the hairdressers. I passed her a note at the counter, “Please put the charge for the next little girl’s cut on my bill.” As she read it I cajoled Briar into leaving without a blow dry so we could get to the bounce house. She happily complied.
I hoped that the wouldn’t be too annoyed as we left. Finley curtsied and smiled at everyone. I tried not to cry.
I hadn’t been attached to her hair, but I had been clinging to the baby. Knowing that the ends of her hair were to some degree the same hairs I kissed on her head that first moment they lay her on my chest, that her sisters had stroked, that we’d all twirled, had somehow meant we weren’t done. We still had our baby Fin. I know that anything that was there before the cut is still there, but an undeniable shift transpired. Things that weren’t there at the surface before the cut, were plain to see after.
She is magnificent and bold, fearless and wondrous. Still my Fin, but somehow more her own Fin than before. Or Finley, or Eff, or whatever she may choose to be called as she gets older…
…further along on that horizon that already taunts me with the allure I know it holds.
very well said and tearfully read. You speak for all of us, now with 18 and 20yr old (babies) men. As jack sat at his recent high school graduation, I thought about the first day of kindergarten and how he got in the car and announced ” I am not impressed”.” They sing the same songs in school we sang at Judy’s Junction” 12 years later the look on his face during the commencement speeches still read… ” I am not impressed” For the next 20 years, you will always see something in the face and look that will put the long hair back on her head.
I truly thought she would have long hair forever, and I wouldn’t have blamed you one bit. And PS – that bounce house place possibly puts a spell on the children. Mine ask to go every time!
ohhhhhh I would have bawled.
I remember I was introduced to your blog when we were both pregnant…I cannot believe Fin & Micah are both 3!
I loved this post! I get super attached to Micah’s hair and hate to cut it – even to the point of being mistaken for a girl all the time….check it out:
Oh! My eyes filled as I saw the “after” shot, but I think it was not so much the loss of her baby curls as the striking, spellbinding quality she has that is now so much more apparent.
Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you.
Kellie, this comment I’ll keep with me, a security blanket like gift from a mom further down the path.
Kristen, so did I.
Christine, duuuuude, I only kept it together so the other mom didn’t lose it.
Robin, your son is goooooorgeous!
Sara, the emergence of their evermore potent selves is sobering and then, with a deep breath, gratifying.
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I loved Finley’s long flowing hair. I love her new sassy look.
But… reading and then scrolling to the after picture? I don’t know how you didn’t bawl your eyes out. I got teary sitting here looking at that big girl.
Realmente hermoso, un gran psiarao de infinita paz!! todas las estrellas del universo.. finleyholiday thank you for sharing. Thank you wonderful heart.. My dear Oleg.. a hug for you ,your friend Irene.
Best. Post. Ever. The haircut – A metaphor for encouraging her growth, development, self expression and independence. Good for you Mom. LOVE LOVE it all, but most of all the final picture.
They are beautiful 🙂
The haircut is too cute on her!!
Coming from a family of straight haired people – oh the head of hair on Fin! Amazing! But I’m not surprised you let her make her own decision when she wanted to cut it. Such a cutie! And I love the “before” pic with her dress pulled up to her face. Oh the innocence!