Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Audrey's Haircut

This is old news, but I want to capture it to remember it...

One positive side effect of having a child with disabilities is that it gives one a better perspective on life. I've learned to prioritize problems, and am less likely to become upset about small setbacks.

Hmm... Or not...

Audrey Anna was born with more hair than any of our other children. It also began to grow the soonest, and she could have ponytails at an earlier age than the other girls. It is not thick, but not too thin, and lays nicely straight so, when it is combed, it looks nice. She once cut the front of it such that I had to taper the front and cut a few inches off the back to even it out, but, at age three, it was still halfway down her back and (in my mind) beautiful. I actually loved to comb it and loved having a child with long hair at a relatively young age. I loved it more than I thought I would. I imagined her being one of those five or six-year-olds with pretty hair nearly to her waist. Again, I had never been one to prize hair (just look at all the pictures of my girls with messy, uncombed and undone hair for easy evidence), but with Audrey it was surprisingly different.

You already know what happened if you read the title of this post and noted the past tense references in my last paragraph.

At the end of July (like I said, this is an old post, but obviously the event had a lot of meaning to me since I am taking the time to write about it over three months later!), Audrey was dancing around our family room with her sisters and her aunt, an accomplished dancer. Her hair was flying out above her dress as she twirled around. There was nothing unusual about her disappearing for a few minutes (really not long).

When she returned, she commenced dancing. Almost instantly, I noticed that her hair was not flying out in quite the same way as before. To my horror, I noticed some short hair among her long tresses. I whisked her upstairs, and like some kind of horror film gone bad, we encountered pile after pile of long hair. In the privacy of my bathroom, I combed her hair to further assess the damage, and the comb pulled out more clumps of beautifully long hair.

In only a few minutes, Audrey had cut some of her bangs nearly to the root, a BIG piece in the back just above her hairline, and some on the side at about the ear level. I cried and cried in front of her and was shocked by my emotion. In the back of my mind, I was thinking, "This really is not that big of a deal. I have learned about perspective. I should not be getting this angry about this." In real life, I was very angry at Audrey and threw at her the most hurtful thing I could think of to say to her: "You are not a princess anymore." She tried to reassure me, "Mommy, it will grow back," but only I realized how long that would take. Later, I discovered that she was trying to look like a picture of Jolie that hangs in the hallway upstairs. Claire had dressed her in a dress that had been Jolie's. Jolie was wearing that dress and had a bob haircut in the photo.

I didn't take a picture of Audrey's damaged hair, but here is a picture of her shortly after I took her to a hair salon to "fix" the hair:

I have to admit that, as it has grown out a bit, it actually looks quite cute. We both miss her long hair, but below is a picture from a couple of months ago. It is even cuter now as her bangs are a great length.

My takeaway lesson from all of this is that I haven't learned much!


kg said...

I love short hair on little girls, Audrey looks adorable!

Ditto Family said...

I know I would have had the same outcry if Alysee chopped off her hair in random places. Luckily, she never did this. I did finally cut her hair after years of her begging me to have short hair. It is hard to say goodbye to those long locks, though.

Satina said...

I know I would have been just as upset. But she does still look very cute. Be easy on yourself, we are all human and as women, we are very emotional too!

Lisa C said...

When I was a little girl, I wanted really long hair like my moms (she could sit on her hair!), but she kept cutting it, saying it was too thin and stringy. My sister had the good hair, but she wanted it short! I remember them having arguments about it. They both claimed ownership of the hair. I hope I don't do this to my kids! I can already see Michael's beautiful red hair disappearing into a buzz cut. NOOOOOOO!