HAIR TODAY

HAIR TODAY

From Chicken Soup for the Mother of Preschooler's Soul

Hair Today

Like so many things one did for children, it was absurd but pleasing, and the pleasure came from the anticipation of their pleasure.

Mary Gordon

“I have something to tell you,” my husband wakes me in a gentle voice. “You have to promise not to yell.” My eyes flew open. “And you can’t cry, either.”

I got dressed and followed him upstairs. Like a scene from a bad movie, he inched open our daughter’s bedroom door.

“What happened?” I screeched.

No one answered.

“What happened here?” I demanded.

“Well, I thought she was with me, but she wasn’t,” my husband stumbled over his words, “and then I saw her in the bathroom, and she looked like this.”

“Look, Mommy, Emily has pretty hair,” my almost-four-year-old bragged.

All I could do was wail.

Her hair—her beautiful, shoulder-length hair. Gone. At least, the top was gone. Emily had created an inverted Mohawk, snipping away a four-inch swath across her head. And it looked terrible. So terrible that there was only one solution.

I pouted as I watched my sister-in-law shave Emily bald.

Preschool, I moaned. Think of the teasing she’ll get.

But, gaining my composure, I commented, “Oh, Emily, this will be so nice and cool for summer.” Yet each time I glanced at her, my heart sank.

Emily became self-conscious.

“Mommy, am I still a girl?” she questioned.

“Mommy, am I still pretty?” she wavered.

So to make her feel better, I did what any insane mother would do: I cut off my hair, too. Emily was thrilled. Now she and Mommy looked alike. She stopped doubting her beauty and now declared how pretty she and Mommy were.

When I saw her newfound joy, I reconsidered this whole hair thing. It is, after all, just hair. It will grow back. It isn’t who I am or who she is. I also learned the “lengths”

I’ll go to ensure my daughter’s happiness.

Besides, short hair really is much cooler in the summer.

Amanda L. Stevens

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