Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Truth Behind Why I Love Giving My Babies Hair Cuts

Over the past couple of months, I've been thinking, quite often, about the passing of time, about getting older, about the story of life that the past has written and all that's left to be told of the future. I suppose it's a combination of things that has sent me to this place of contemplation - vain things such as looking in the mirror each day and accepting the image of an aging woman staring back at me, and real things like knowing our oldest son is a pre-teen and will be entering middle school this year.  So big he is, the baby who, just yesterday, slept peacefully in my arms while I counted his eye-lashes and softly kissed his sweet baby cheeks, caring little of anything or anyone else for hours upon end.

The real emotion that keeps me up at night, though, is born in the fear that Charlie may be the last little soul we get to call "baby."  A baby who is running his sweet chubby legs full speed ahead through toddlerhood.  I can't slow him down and, to my great frustration, I can't slow time down.

So many moms rejoice over "being done" having babies.  Done with late night feedings, messy diaper changes and the toting of strollers and sippy cups everywhere under the sun.  I'll admit that those are natural feelings. I can sincerely relate to the exhaustion over the great demands of motherhood, and as well to the temptation of wishing for all of the chaos and strain to pass into a time of greater ease and convenience.  But, to tell me it's over - that this phase of my life is over - is unexpectedly unbearable.

Seeking a place of consolation from all the anxious thoughts, I retreat to the honest realization that it's a wonder that I've been able to have 5 children at all. Managing the aches and pains of fibromyalgia, adrenal burn-out and constant hormone dysfunction have made the physical demands of life a bit treacherous, at times, over the past 13 years.  But, prayers have been answered, and grace and strength have come in sufficient supply to sustain my life and theirs, one precious day at a time.  Every woman has a life-bearing time-table, a table that is different for each one of us.  I'm just praying that there's a little bit more sand behind the glass, and that it doesn't run out before I'm ready.

Overwhelmed with sentimentality and missing my wonderful husband, who (fingers crossed) should be home tonight, I decided to sit down at the computer last night and sort through the thousands of pictures I've saved over the past few years.  In my perusing, I came across this collection of snapshots that Benedict took last spring while I was giving Charlie a hair cut. Seeing them made me laugh, made me smile, made me cry....made me long for another baby (of course!).
I've never taken my babies to the salon for hair-cuts.  Even though I'm not very skilled at doing it on my own, for me, there's such a sweet pleasure in the whole crazy messy process....

The combing of curls...

The spritzing with water to tame the tails...
(Ben is such a good sport!)

The preoccupation with a succession of snacks...
We always begin with Cheerios...
But, eventually pacification is bumped up a notch to a box of raisins or Craisins. 

Watching them dig their chubby little sticky-haired fingers into the box always cracks me up!
The next level of emergency snackage is always chocolate chips.
To my sweet satisfaction, this time the Craisins were just enough!

The burst of giggles and squirms that can't be contained from the tickling buzz of the clippers...
The sweet expression of a face fully revealed after being hidden behind whisps of concealing locks...
It's true what they say, if you're always looking into the future, you miss out on all that is to be gained in the present.  I'm guilty of this, of gazing forward into tomorrow's schedule, fretting over next week's demands, organizing next month's events or perfecting all of the plans I have made to navigate our life toward the dreams Steve and I treasure together.

Today, I'm pulling back, breathing deep, listening to the unique sound of every precious person's voice, embracing the softness of a hand reaching out for mine, kissing one more time the toes that will soon be off and running, savoring the scent of summer - boys on the porch slurping watermelon - waiting for the rain clouds to open up - smiling at the simplicity of life.  A life with them that I treasure more than their little hearts will ever know.  Today is today.  And, today is so very good.


  1. Such a great post Susan! It is so true . . it is so good to savor NOW, each moment and not to let them pass to quickly, in our hurry to see what tomorrow holds.

    1. It's such a challenge, isn't it - to not get caught up in the speed of life, but to slow down and enjoy the time we have together with our children??

  2. We were just discussing this subject yesterday. I hope that I never know when we are done having little ones because I don't think I could bear the heartache of knowing we would never have a little one again. That being said, we will be happy with whatever number of kids God wants us to have, whether its 5 or 10. We feel so blessed and humbled that God has chosen us to be the parents to 5 beautiful little angels already and have turned our 'planner' over to Him to decided how many (if any) more He wants us to have. We've slowly been learning that God's plans are so much more wonderful than the plans that we make for ourselves so why not put our plans completely into His hands! -Maria

    1. God bless you, Maria!! Its hard to put the "family plan" in God's hands, but when we do they always turn out so much better than we could have ever imagined!!

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  4. Great post! I too am guilty of always looking ahead to tomorrow and not savoring todays moments with my little ones. Thank you for the reminder to focus on today!

  5. This is beautiful. And those pictures! AH! So precious.

    1. I keep telling myself that I need to make time to learn to use my camera better, especially when I want to capture cute moments like these and have them turn out better.

  6. *sniff* pardon me while I cry my postpartum eyeballs out. I am finally learning this lesson. My middle kids lost out a bit in the frenetic pace of mommy's lack of focus. Slowing down.loving well. Approaching these children with gratitude that pours out. Thanks for putting it all into beautiful words.

  7. Awe, don't be too hard on yourself. We live and we learn - speaking of learning, I truly gain so much from you, every time I visit your blog, Melody. Thank you for inspiring me as a mom!

  8. Susan, thanks for making me cry first thing in the morning over my coffee. LOL
    Seriously though, I'm guilty of this too. Right now, I am always worrying about how much work I have to get done with our 1 acre berry patch and our garden and canning, etc. That I think lately, my 3 little ones, the oldest will be 4 in November are acting out because maybe I haven't been tuned into them enough.

    And then, I keep dreaming of getting some animals for our little farm when the kids are a little older and I need to just focus on today and get done what I can but mostly just be here for them. So thanks for helping me to stay focused.

    P.S. I really look forward to your blog. It is the only one I actually read so thanks for your posts and for sharing your life with us. It is a real encouragement!

  9. We gave our son a hair cut the other day too, and the fits of giggles from the clippers just warms up your heart.
    gez he looks spunky with this new do that's for sure.


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