Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Our children grow up before our eyes, and then we wonder when it happened.  In the past week, our eldest made a leap that made me stop and think.

She cut her hair.  You may think that’s petty, or minimally interesting, or just ridiculous considering how many real accomplishments this young woman has under her belt.  But for me it was a watershed moment:  my girl has grown up.

She has always been beautiful.  Naturally, as her mother, I am appropriately biased on this score.  But really, she is beautiful.  And she has always had long hair.  I think the last time her hair could even be considered short was when she was about three, and then it was really only short because it was so fine that if we didn’t keep it trimmed it was just in her way.

So she called from her current perch 3,500 miles away and said, “I did something.”

Of course the things that race through a mothers mind are:  Are you okay?  Are you hurt?  Are you in jail?  Did you quit school?  How much will this cost us?  Yes, in all of about three seconds, all of those things and more flooded my brain.

As it turns out, her next sentence was, “I got my hair cut.”  Sigh of relief.

She emailed a photo a short time later, and I am going to share it with you because you will see the dramatic difference right away.  She suddenly looks like a grownup living in a major foreign city.  All very appropriate, since that’s who she is now.

Women already know instinctively what I am talking about.  Women change their hair when they are ready for changes in their lives.  Or when they have made changes in their lives.  Or when they are contemplating changes in their lives.  All of these things lead women to change their hair – the color, the length, the style.

As I considered all of this it hit me:  she is a woman.  She has made a dramatic change in her hair.  Petty, right?  Wrong.  It is absolutely a sign of growing up.  She is leaving her high school and college image behind, and is moving into her new grad school/professional life.  What she wears and how she looks reflect who she is now and what she is becoming.

Here are the before and after looks.

Before and After.  Yes, it is a mirror image selfie.  No, her part did not change.

Before and After. Yes, it is a mirror image selfie. No, her part did not change.

She looks sassy, don’t you think?  And professional.  And confident.  And still beautiful.

She may not keep it quite this short, but her experiment alone has been eye opening.  Not just for her, but for me as well.  She is growing into herself.  At almost age 23 she is a grownup.  This is the only shortcut she has taken.

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