My mother cut her hair off really short when I was in kindergarten — a pixie cut, the gamine look, like the model Twiggy. Looking back at old photos, she looked really great. But at the time — eek! I don’t think we were very nice about her haircut. She didn’t look like Mom any more! I remember seeing her for the first time with it cut short, sitting on a lawn chair smoking a cigarette, wearing a white plastic earring and necklace set and a sleeveless shirt. Perhaps I am remembering a photo, and not the actual first sighting of the hair. But I do remember having a visceral reaction of horror.

So, she grew it out, saying, “Well, you all have to look at me more than I do.” While she was growing it out, she would put it up in rollers, wear it pulled back in a hairband, or, if she ran out of time getting everyone ready for church, she would wear a wig.

I wrote about her wig in 2nd grade. It was an impressive thing, having a wig.img_0472

I found the wig in the costume trunk this week. Before hair color, I guess this was the thing to do. I’m not used to taking selfies and am never sure where to look, so it’s a wierd photo, but there’s the wig, right on top!


By the time I was a senior in high school, her hair was down to her waist, and had lovely grey streaks in front around her face. Then, when I graduated and my parents moved to the Middle East, she cut it all off and left the braid behind. Somewhere I have a lock of that braid so I can see what her hair color was like.

For most of my childhood, I went from long hair to short hair to long hair in a five-year cycle. My daughter has just begun the same cycle. she grew her hair out from preschool onward, and it took all that time to get relatively long hair. Just when it was the length she dreamed of, she cut it all off, snip, snap! So liberating!

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