Last Saturday I went to my favorite hairstylist for a hair cut. It had been several months since I’d gone, and over a year since I’d seen her. She went on medical leave last March and had surgery to remove part of her intestines where a cancerous tumor had grown. Needless to say, we greeted each other with a hug and warm words.
In that time, my hair has endured continuous chlorine damage and hormonal changes due to pregnancy and birth. Also, my hair was getting tucked into my waistband on a regular basis and since it was classic length (halfway of the body) it was also a bit disconcerting to have it end up in weird places when I showered.
We negotiated, as we always do when she cuts my hair and we decided to cut it so it was waist length, which equaled a cut of eight inches. When I started growing my hair 15 years ago, never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would have 8 inches of hair to cut off and still have some left over. Sadly, it was so scraggly that it wasn’t worth donating to any cause except my own. My own “cause” is to show William when he’s older and lay guilt on him by telling him that this, THIS is what he did to his to his momma!
As she snipped off my hair, I met her eyes in the mirror and said, “This is such a bummer.” She paused, and said with a soft smile, “Yes, but it could be so much worse… and you have a beautiful baby boy to show for it.” I nodded. It could be much worse, this I know. I know what she’s been through this past year. But I also know that the alternative, for me, is that I wouldn’t have William… which just isn’t an alternative.
When I finished and paid, I sent Tony a text message that I was done. He had been walking through the pet store with William, showing him the fish tanks — which William is entranced by. Tony walked across the parking lot, William in his arms. For me it was like looking at my dreams come true.
William was handed over without hesitation to my hair stylist. She enfolded him in her arms and closed her eyes, inhaling the babyness of him. As for William, he snuggled into her neck as if he understood her need. I said softly, “He is good for the soul…”
Her eyes still closed, she replied, “Yes, he is.”
…and do you know? It still doesn’t seem real to me that he’s finally here.