Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Love and Hate of Long Hair

When I was a kid my mom never cut my hair. Ever. I didn't even have bangs to trim. Now whether this was due to some romantic notion of how little girls hair should be or she just never got around to cutting it for my first nine years, I don't know and it doesn't really matter.

I remember being young and getting plopped in front of the huge rabbit eared tube TV my grandparents had on a Sunday night (which was also bath night) and being painfully aware of just how long my hair was while my mom pulled a comb through it as they tried to distract me with the Sunday night Disney movie. Yes, I'm that old, that Disney put movies on cable-free TV once a week. The smell of Johnson & Johnson's detangler spray still throws me back. It was both a high and low light of my childhood. The low of course, being a ruthless untangling of knots.

Did I love my long hair? Yes and no. Just like my Sunday nights. There were times I was praised by envious little girls for having those strawberry blond flowing locks that were more than not, braided in long ropes and there were times where pesky little boys liked to tug on them. Which at the time was highly annoying, actually it would probably be annoying now too.

One of my most favorite scenes in any movie is in "Anne of Green Gables", when Gilbert pulls Anne's braid in a show of playful attraction and she clocks him with the slate, I would envision myself having enough guts to do that myself. If, of course, I had access to a slate.

Now I've birthed three little girls. I have cut their hair when the screaming and fighting over me brushing it was too much. I've cut their hair in shops and at home. I've had to cut their hair when they've gotten curious with scissors and gave personal, mirrorless hair cutting a go. I'm not afraid to cut their hair. But, I have a child that doesn't want her hair cut.

As with all things karmatic, Olivia wants long sheets of silky locks. I'll admit when the sun glints off her chocolaty mane bringing to light her striking red highlights it's hard to want to cut it. So now I'm the parent having to wade cautiously through the knots with the heavy scent of conditioner hanging in the air. I try hard to avoid causing her pain but as with all things I think you get the good with the bad and pain is part of the process.

Olivia and her locks.

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