This is the proud face of my little girl after her first, 'proper' hair cut.I rather liked her wild, golden curls although they could be rather unmanageable. She had decided that she wanted a shorter style and we agreed on a bob. On Friday, I walked her down to the hairdressers and she had it cut. They told me that she very much needed a cut - she has never had it cut before - and that it would thicken up and grow much faster now. It looks lovely - so grown up - brushing is a pleasure and no longer a pain and she is very excited about it.
It was a surprisingly emotional experience for me. I lost all my hair nearly eight years ago - I have alopecia - and it all happened while I was pregnant with her. I discovered that I was losing it the same week that I discovered I was expecting her. By the time she was born it was all gone. What makes me a good parent changes as the children do. When they were babies it was my job to be there for them all the time, to meet their every need and to watch over their every experience. As my eldest proudly tells me, he will be a teenager next year and this 'little girl' of mine will be eight in two months. I have to remember to let go of them, to let them make their own choices, to experience their own mistakes, to live their own lives. The heart and centre of my philosophy of home ed is to let them discover who they are, to find their passions and gifts, to grow sure of themselves. They spent the weekend with a friend of mine and she commented on just this, their individuality and quirkiness, their differences and strong sense of self. This, she thought, had a lot to do with my commitment to just that, and I was pleased to feel that their personalities shine through. I would dearly love to have some hair to have cut, and I cannot deny some envy at my daughter's and a peculiar sense of her wasting it by having it cut. But that is my life and my stuff and I am in awe of her certainty of what she wants and her confidence in reaching out for it.