I don’t know if it makes you a horribly vain person to think your baby is no looker but there it is. The first time I laid eyes on my daughter I remember thinking: Oh Dear, her hairline starts at her eyebrows. She was born with a whole head of hair, dark and long and silky smooth. But it started low on her forehead, literally, right above her eyebrows, and progressed all around her head, sticking out in every direction and ending in a bitchin’ mullet. And, poor thing, she had a cowlick. I’m sorry to say, she got that from me.
I also don’t know if this makes things sound better or worse but I’ll tell you I wasn’t alone in my thinking. My husband, who was deployed to Afghanistan when our daughter was born, took one look at her first picture and thought: Well, she’s my baby and I guess I’ll love her no matter what she looks like. Let me just say it was not a flattering picture. And I didn’t take it.
Our daughter never exactly lost her hair but as the weeks went by it seemed to get lighter and shorter. And lighter and shorter. Except for the mullet. Her hairline retreated from her eyebrows back to a normal position on her forehead. I remember musing one day that she was getting cuter. Only when her grandfather piped up with “it couldn’t go much the other way” did I realize I had said it out loud.
Not long after that her bald spot started coming on. It spread like wildfire until it consumed the entire back of her head. The mullet, of course, survived unscathed. Without hair the back of her head looked as flat and wide as a blank billboard.
Eventually hair took hold and her bald patch started to fill in. The new hair grew like a weed until it was neck and neck with the mullet. But while the back and top were sprouting, nothing was happening around her face or on the sides.
By nineteen months my daughter’s hair was as wispy and flyaway as could be. Cutting it seemed counterproductive since I’d like to see it grow long, but something had to be done. And so, last Thursday we went for her very first haircut.
The second we entered the salon my daughter knew something was afoot. She clung to me and buried her face in my legs. She was none too happy when I sat her in the chair, but once her body disappeared under the kiddie cape I think she was afraid to move.
For the next 20 minutes the stylist worked her magic. I wish. She did shape up the raggedy ends and trim the jumble that hung in my daughter’s eyes but she was done in two minutes. I guess I was hoping for an artistic transformation but she didn’t have a lot to work with. There wasn’t even enough hair to save.
Though my daughter may be follicly challenged I could not have hoped for a lovelier child. She’s the sweetest thing. Dazzling and delightful. Divine in every way. And, thank goodness, hair grows.