Have you ever had your hair cut against your will? Because I have had my hair cut, oh-so-many times, by my own mother. I used to run away from her and lock myself in our bedroom, with her furiously running after me and demanding that I come right out and obey her.
Why couldn’t I have long hair like the other kids in our class? Why do I have to have my hair cut above the shoulder? Why couldn’t I have long, shiny braids like the girls? I thought those braids looked so cool. But my mom would have none of it. She always got her way, of course. But I vowed, once I had children of my own, to NEVER cut their hair UNLESS they want it. They should be free to do whatever they want with their hair. I wouldn’t insist on having their hair cut the way I want it.
This was how I looked like, most of the time, with my hair cut short:
I think I was about 2 or so at that time. See the shocked look on my face?!! Uh, no, that’s not because of the haircut. It was because my mom had to leave me alone temporarily to be photographed.
And every time my hair grew long, my mom would put her grim scissors to work. Snippity, snippity, snip!
Mom did her best, but she’s not a pro, see, and so there were many times when her cut would be longer on one side, shorter on the other. She usually resorted to cutting the longer side to even up the length – much to my disgust. It was I who had to face my classmates the following day in school, puhleeze. Di pa uso yung shaggy non, so I always ended up looking like I had a “bunot” (coconut husk, for the uninitiated) on my head. I hated it, I hated it, I hated it!
Did I forget to mention that I hated it?
That, and having my milk teeth pulled by my Dad using a sewing thread (use your imagination on how it was done). I would run away from him as fast as I could, but drats, he always managed to overtake me. But that’s another story.
Fast forward twenty years after. Oh okay, I’ll be honest, thirty years after. 😛 I have my own daughter now. She’s the most adorable thing on earth. I told my Mom to stay away from her hair. I let Aya’s hair grow, never cutting it except for the bangs, and a little trim on the edges to keep the split ends away.
By the time Aya was about 2 years old (same age as when my photo was taken above), I could make a nice braid out of her wispy thin, baby hair. Aya loved having her hair fixed.
She also loves having her hair hang freely.
Sure, it could get pretty messy at times, especially after a night of tumbling and tossing in bed. She’s like this mini-bruha every morning, greeting me with eyes hiding behind a glorious mess of hair. I did my best in fixing her up.
One day, out of the blue, she told me, “Gusto ko magpagupit na.” (I want to have my hair cut.) Whaaattt? I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I mean, she’s only four years old, right? And she wants a haircut already? I asked her again. She was pretty sure that she wanted a haircut. And she seemed pretty serious, too.
Well, okay. I agreed. I gave her a few more weeks to think about it. Then I asked her again. She gave the same answer, so I thought that it was really time to pay the beauty parlor a visit. I wouldn’t dare cut her hair myself. Huh-uh, no way Jose. Let a professional do it instead. I don’t want to make a mess of my daughter’s first official hair cut.
Off we went to the beauty parlor at the shopping center. They placed a comfy child’s seat on the chair, then propped a tv playing Tom and Jerry in front of Aya. The plastic cover used to wrap Aya with even had cartoon characters. Not bad for presentation. Needless to say, Aya was all smiles. She couldn’t quite contain her excitement and happiness.
Several minutes later, Aya’s hair was just barely touching her shoulders, but her eyes were bright and happy at the way she looked. The next day, at the daycare, the senseis and her classmates oohed and aahed when they saw her. Everybody said she looked “kawaii” (this means cute in Japanese). See, that’s how drastically her appearance changed. And it seemed that everyone else in the daycare knew that Aya’s hair was never cut short, and so maybe they seemed really surprised to find her with short hair – for the first time in years!
One night, as I was tucking her to sleep, out of the blue she asked me:
“Hahaba ulit ang hair ko?” (Will my hair grow long again?)
“Yes, of course,” I replied.
“Kelan, bukas?” (When, tomorrow?)
“Hindi eh. Matagal bago humaba ang hair.” (No. It takes a while for the hair to grow.)
And my dear little one started to cry softly. She wants her hair to grow back so soon. I cuddled her, and softly whispered:
“In time, my dear, in time.”