When Lauren was barely over two years old, there was one small section of golden brown hair that hung just below the nape of her neck. A stray curl. It stood out in stark relief against the rest of her shorter, silky lengths. Silly and unruly.
I was fixated on it, constantly sweeping it one way or the other, blending it in. Or I was twirling it around two fingers, watching it fall into a springy bounce.
But one day in a flash of what I can only describe as misplaced obsession, I saw that single curl hanging down so out of place, and I cut it off. I finished brushing her hair, satisfied that it was even along the bottom now, and she ran off into the other room.
Her curl sat alone on the bathroom counter. Whatever had come over me suddenly cleared -- a thoughtless fog lifted -- and I stood motionless. Her baby curl.
Oh, I cried. Shook my head. Wondered what had possessed me. Cursed my need for straight, even rows and perfect stacks. There had been no temperance before the cut, no consideration of whether or not I actually wanted the curl to be gone forever...I simply saw a low spot and evened it out.
So that was her very first haircut. And you might remember her second-first haircut. The one where she became curious about how much hair she could cut off before her unassuming mother opened the bedroom door.
But this: this is her third-first haircut. The real deal. Salon styled and mother-approved (at last!).
--Lauren, do you like your new haircut?
--Yes! I just CAN'T stop looking in the mirror!
Neither can I, baby. Neither can I.