The first time Mica asked me to cut her hair with the trimmer, I managed to resist. She saw me cutting one of the boys’ hair and told me that she wanted to be like Dave, and inwardly I felt immediate conflict. On the one hand it was obviously contrary to my values to tell her that she couldn’t have her hair trimmed — after all, did I question the boys when they asked for a haircut? Hadn’t I let, even helped, Nathan dye his hair when he wanted to? And I consciously work on not emphasizing to her that she is pretty, instead focusing on how she is capable, always doing new and interesting things, and generous.
But there it was; the truth was that deep down I was relieved when she was diverted into letting me braid her hair instead. She would be like me instead of like Dave.
That could only last so long. Last week she saw me trimming hair again, and this time she insisted that she wanted to be like Dave. I tried to talk her into a longer length, at least; that backfired when she decided to go with the shortest length available.
And I can’t blame her. She doesn’t like having her hair combed — well, neither did I at that age. Long hair can get pulled, gets in eyes, and is generally a bit of a nuisance. She seems happy with her new haircut, and the boys love rubbing her fuzzy head, and I… well, she is adorable no matter what, and I love her.
But it does remind me a bit of Nathan’s first haircut, and the odd feeling I had, for days afterward, that there was a stranger in my house.