Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Samson's Hair: Saying Goodbye to Babyhood

With my first son, Wyatt, I fought to keep him looking the part of a baby as long as possible. The other vestiges of babyhood like the bottle, pacifier, and crib were gone without much notice (or tears) long before I cut off that beautiful brown halo of curls right before his second birthday.

Perhaps my love of baby hair, with all its God-created highlights, was caused by the images I've seen of my brother's curls when he was a toddler. Or perhaps it was my mother's heartfelt stories about loving my brother's curls. But whatever the case, Wyatt's curls somehow came to represent everything beautiful, innocent, and sweet about my baby boy...all things I felt would somehow vanish like Samson's strength if I were to cut his hair.

So, I spent almost two years trimming Wyatt's bangs and letting the wispy curls grow into small, gold-tinted ringlets surrounding the nape of his neck...until one bath time when, unbeknownst to me, Wyatt's daddy decided to "help" by trimming the baby hair so that it was "evened up".

I am quite certain my husband still recalls the emotional bomb that fell on our household the following Sunday morning as a very-twin-pregnant me went to brush Wyatt's hair. One minute, the Sunday rush getting ready for church--the next, I'm breaking down in sobs and then locking myself in the bedroom once I discover my baby's long, beautiful curls are gone and (what's worse) washed down the tub's drain.

Needless to say, my husband hasn't thought again about severing even a lock of hair from our children's heads. But this week with several patches of fuzzy, frizzy baby hair making it difficult to get a comb through, the time came for my second little boy, Emerson, to get his first haircut and leave that part of babyhood behind. It's not like he's still a baby anyway. He can steal from his sister, covet what his sister has, and then lie with those big blue eyes as he pretends to not understand why she's crying. He can make demands with a blossoming vocabulary of words along with some very toddler-esque crying tantrums. And his attitude that "if I don't make eye contact, then I don't have to obey" definitely screams toddler.

But as I took pictures of my little explorer this afternoon, I felt like I was looking at my little boy rather than my baby boy.It's one of those bittersweet moments we mothers treasure in our hearts.


  1. Oh, I remember those days! My twins had sweet little curls like a halo around their heads. I let it grow VERY long! But alas, one day they were mistaken for girls, and we had to get out the dreaded scissors...

  2. Dear Jennifer, I couldn't help it, but I kept thinking of how good a mom you have been through all these 16 months of raising the twins to be what they are today! You deserve a great big pat on the back, of course more than that. You have been through a lot...but now look at the grown "baby" who is no longer a baby, but nearly what Wyatt was when I began reading your blog about a year ago!

    Well... congratulations!
    Cutting off his hair signifies a rite of passage, for you, I think!


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  4. Suddenly, I'm feeling very emotional. I must be on the edge of an emotional breaking point because this story and those pics just about did me in.

    It's true! Right before my eyes--in the pictures, anyway--Emerson went from baby to little boy!