Saturday night, Patrick and I were at wedding about three hours upstate; we'd left the kids in the hands of uber-capable Christian. At about 7:00 p.m., we got a call from Christian, as panicked as we've ever heard him. It seems that while Christian was putting Daniel to bed, Tess went downstairs to the basement, got a pair of kindergarten scissors out of one of the craft bins, and cut all her hair off. All of it: down to the scalp above her forehead and on the back of her neck. She left a few Carol Brady-type strands in the back, but other than those, she was very thorough. We calmed Christian down and told him everything would be fine--but I'm glad we had a long drive home.
The next morning, Tess came down dressed for church and wearing an extra accessory: she had zipped the hood off of one of the boys' winter coats, put it on her head, and snapped it under her chin. Perhaps she was planning on wearing it for the next few months; I'm not sure. But I quietly asked her to take it off, I cut off the Brady locks, and we went to church.
I didn't want to give the whole event very much negative attention, even though I was heartsick. She has the most lovely golden blonde hair, and she had grown it down to about the middle of her back. I did ask her why she cut it, and she replied that her bangs had been bothering her (we've been growing them out for several months, and she had apparently misplaced her barrette).
I kept her out of school this morning so that we could go to a salon and see what could be salvaged. All our church friends were kind yesterday, but I was worried about the reaction Tess would get on the playground today. I had to go up to Wal-Mart, since my regular salon and the others in our village are all closed on Mondays. As you can see, they couldn't save very much. As I paid her, the stylist cracked her gum and said, "At least she's cute."
I have to say that I'm glad it didn't happen on my watch. I don't blame Christian one whit, but I'm not very good at forgiving myself when things like this happen when I'm around.
I have a theory that one girl in every family has cut her hair at least once, with more or less disastrous results. I am now asking you to tell me your stories to prove me right; until then, I'll be consoling myself with Luke 12:7.
Especially welcome will be stories of girls who succumbed to this impulse in their childhoods, then grew up to be Rhodes Scholars or something very like. Give me your solidarity, friends! I know this is not the end of the world, but I could use a little comfort.