It Won't Grow Back Tomorrow

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I remember clearly the day that I had my ultrasound, and the technician informed my husband and I that we had a baby girl on her way to join us in this world. That very day, my husband made clear that our daughter would not get a haircut until she was at least five years old.

Now, this was one of many many discussions we had that day, about our future as parents of a little girl. And it was based on the fact that his sister didn't get her haircut for the first five years of her life either. And, he simply has a love of long hair.

Time flies when you're having fun, and our little girl turns six in a few short months. She has decided it's time to cut her hair. She takes after her daddy with her personality - strong-willed and stubborn as an ox, very independent. She will be the one to set fashion trends in her later years, as she will look how she wants to, and doesn't care what anyone else likes or dislikes. And SHE dislikes her hair. Or, at least, the daily ritual of sitting still while the tangles are being combed out.

Her hair is beautiful, down to her waist and pretty straight, light brown or dark blonde (whichever you prefer). She has never had more than the ends trimmed so far. I thought I was ready to let her get it cut, but as we browsed through the books at the hair salon together, I became very sentimental. She is beautiful, of course, and would look just as nice with any of the hairstyles she pointed to in the pictures. But both my husband and I agree - we don't think she really grasps the idea that once she gets it cut, she can't change her mind. She has asked to get her bangs cut... What if she hates having bangs? It would take years for her to grow it back. And we truly think she dislikes the inconvenience, not the hair itself.

So, our dilemma... when is she old enough to make this decision on her own? If she really insists that she dislikes her hair as it is, are we being awful parents if we stall or try to bribe her out of it? Do we have a right to just tell her no, that she can't get it cut? Or should I just take her to the salon and close my eyes, hoping for the best?

And what will be next? Will she come home from first grade next fall wanting to pierce an eyebrow? A tattoo in second grade? I know I'm exaggerating a bit here, but we did not expect our daughter, who loves all that's girly and pink, to want to get her hair cut off!

Realistically, I know that this is a small worry. Our children will continue to blindside us with surprises many times through the years, and each one will seem like a small catastrophe at the time. But looking back, many years from now, I'm sure I'll be laughing about how we made such a big deal over her first "real haircut".

I think what makes it hardest for me is the real-life idea that it represents in my mind. If she cuts her hair, it won't grow back tomorrow. And just as she can't get back her long tresses, we can't get back today after we tuck our children into bed. It's just another step towards tomorrow, another milestone to cherish forever.
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