a pivotal moment


admittedly, i'm not very sentimental. i'm not emotionally attached to things or periods of my life. i've never been one to have boxes of stuff from the past buried deep in the back of my closet. being this way has, for the most part, served me well. i can easily make objective decisions, i'm fairly cut throat when i need to be, and i definitely don't obsess over whether or not it was the right decision. moving on, i like to say.

i also try very hard to live in the here, in the now. living this way as a mother allows me to cherish this time while my babies are still my babies and then not torment myself about them growing up. sure, i'll miss all of THIS when they are grown and no longer need me the way they do now. but i don't cry when they turn another year older. instead, i look at it as an accomplishment that i kept them alive for another year. i'm not attached to their itty bitty baby things. i don't hold onto things just because they were my baby's things. i still get to keep the baby who wore them so who cares about the stuff?

you see? good thing. 

the problem with being unusually unsentimental occurs when you don't realize a moment in time is so unbelievably precious and of epic proportion in the grand scheme of your life until it's over.

and that's just a horrible, no good, very bad thing.

today included one of those life affirming, pivotal moments. i didn't actually recognize it until i sat down after both of the kids were in bed and looked at a photo that i snapped of marlo this afternoon.

this is how it all went down: i've been begging mo to get her hair cut for months and months. it's beautiful, yes. but it's also a pain to keep up. the knots turn into dreadlocks so easily and detangling it has become a constant battle that ends in tears. however, i have never pushed the subject when she not-so-politely shuts down my request to cut it because, at the end of the day, it's her hair. i never want marlo to doubt how much i respect her ownership over her own body. i also firmly believe that any decisions about her appearance should be made solely by her. i'm her mom, yes, but it's not my place to say how she should or shouldn't look. so you can imagine my surprise when, today, while making herself nauseous on the tire swing, she suddenly announced that she wanted to get her hair cut.

"sure, mo! i'll schedule an appointment for next week."

"no, mama. i want a hair cut now, please."

i'm not one to typically give into my child's every demand but i also very much wanted her to get her hair cut and i worried that if we waited until next week, she'd lose her nerve. so i pounced on the opportunity and we immediately walked over to the local salon. thirty minutes later, we walked out with seven inches less of perfectly blown-out, tangle-free hair.

now, let me make this clear. this is absolutely NOT about her "first haircut" or about losing seven inches of those enviable, naturally highlighted locks. it's just hair and it'll grow back. my lack of sentiment applies to supposed monumental firsts, too, i'm afraid. 

what made this a definitive moment in motherhood for me was watching my three and a half year old make a decision about herself that didn't result from giving into any of my pleas while frustrated and untangling her knots. she asked for a haircut based on no one else's desire or opinion but her own. she was brave and followed through. i watched her fight her natural shyness and trust a stranger. and as the stylist washed her hair, i caught mo making eye contact with me and smiling. (THE cutest, by the way.) i listened to and answered her quiet questions about what the stylist was going to do and how it would look and if it would hurt when she cut her "hairs." (also THE cutest.) then, after it was all finished, i watched my sweet girl look in a mirror and actually admire herself- obviously approving of her decision to cut her hairs. after a few moments and a hair flip over the shoulder or two, she looked up and beamed at me.

"mama, i love it so much!" 


what a pivotal this-is-what-it's-all-about moment.

my only goal as a mother has always been to raise the kind of girls who turn into self-assured, confident, and self-possessed women. it was this particular moment this afternoon that allowed me to realize that i'm actually doing it. today i witnessed someone, who i once held as a tiny baby, become the self-assured, confident, and self-possessed little lady i always hoped she would be.

oh for fuck's sake, i felt proud. and, if you ask me, if there's anything to ever feel sentimental about, i'd say being proud of your kids probably ranks pretty high up there.



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