Today’s post is a repost from an older blog. It is a story from 4 years ago, when the girls were 4 and 6. It still encourages me today. (Forgive my old photos…digital cameras have improved tremendously).
I don’t love beards and mustaches. I like the slightly defiant look of a five o’clock shadow. I’ve asked Coach many a time to shave his facial hair. Or at least keep them more trim. He feels naked without them. His outward appearance when he is clean shaven doesn’t fit his personality. So he never shaved on my request. I understood but I kept trying.
For months, Coach has complained about my long hair. He feels physically sick when he finds long hairs on the floor, or worse, in his food. I put my hair in a pony tail or a knot when I cook, but hairs are escape artists. That’s why they make hair nets for cooks. I didn’t want to cut my hair. Long hair was the easiest way to ignore my hair–an ideal situation for a mom of two young ones. I could pony-tail-it. And I have lovely hair: thick, strong, and flowing. The envy of many women. As such, my long hair suited my stay-at-home lifestyle and the lack of bathroom moments moms of young children experience. It also made me feel pretty.
In the back of my mind though, I kept thinking about how Coach didn’t like my long hair. He is, after all, the only person whose thoughts on my appearance are important. I should have just cut it for him, as an act of service. I justified my long hair, saying, he needed to get used to long hairs, since he had two daughters. One evening, I flippantly said, “If you shave your beard and mustache, I’ll cut my hair.” I did not put stipulations on the statement, like you can’t grow back your beard for three months. Two days later Coach came down the steps without any facial hair. Crap I thought (and my brain never thinks such words), before noticing how handsome he looked.
I avoided cutting my hair for weeks, wondering if he even remembered. Getting a good haircut is expensive, I did’t ow know any trustworthy stylist since we were new to Michigan, justification after justification postponed the cut. A month later, Coach brought home a business card from a salon. Two weeks later he asked if I had made an appointment.
I work hard to make sure my kids know they need to keep their word. Follow through, do what you say, let your yes be yes. The phrases I throw at my children were convicting me. I made an appointment. Together Coach and I searched the internet for haircuts. A week later, he came home in the middle of the day so I could go alone for the cut (Oh luxury of luxury).
In the end, I loved my short hair. I loved the experience. God blessed me with a great stylist who was friendly and talented and even a massage chair for the shampooing, all for the price I paid for a bad trim at the mall salon. For once, I didn’t worry every time I met a person who pretended they didn’t notice my haircut, I didn’t cut it for them and I knew that to some people, nothing will ever look better than beautiful long hair.
Really though, the joy was in the sacrifices we made for each other. Parts of who are (or so we thought) that we didn’t want to change. A little like the Gift of the Magi.( I love O Henry.).
And my children? Embarassingly, I had justified not cutting my hair by reciting stories I heard about kids being scared of their mom after a new cut. Bird said my hair looked “gross” when she first saw my short-do. Ten minutes later she wondered if she could get her hair cut like me. Bug barely noticed.
Linking up today with Jenny at Rediscovering Domesticity. Check out her site to meet other bloggers, writing about how to Thrive at Home.