This piece was inspired by a recent Instagram post.
Why are parents so nostalgic about cutting their baby’s hair for the first time? I guess because we aren’t just mourning the loss of locks; we’re mourning the loss of time. Going up a diaper size, giving up the bottle, a toe poking out of a shoe or moving to a big boy bed – these are all things that are supposed to happen to healthy growing children so we greet them with satisfied expectation. But deep down inside there’s this constant tug that makes us beg for time to slow down. This tug can take hold of your heart when you least expect it…like at your baby’s first haircut. When my son’s hair got to the point where I could put it in pigtails and he couldn’t see, I knew it was time. I choked up as I placed his impossibly soft curls into a white business envelope I had tucked in my bag. I didn’t want to ever forget the way he looked at that very moment, ever –
…You see before I became “Mommy” I never really relished in the little things. But now this tug serves as a constant reminder to me. I stop and sniff the flowers now and count the bunnies in the yard. I jump up and down when a train goes by and sing back to the birds. I stomp in puddles without disgust and find time to look for dinosaurs in the cloud patterns. So even though it can be painfully nostalgic, I guess we need this tug. This gentle reminder to slow down and enjoy the tiny fragments of life that turn into memories we’ll never forget…like when we open up a white business envelope in 20 years and find our hearts inside.