Coco's nanny and great auntie were recently here for a whirlwind visit in the city. It was my mum's first trip to visit us since we moved back and I was so excited to show both her and my aunt around our sweet house- the things that are the same, the many things that have changed. It's so good after a move to fill up a house with family and friends and, in this case, gregarious family spirit. Such things soak into the beams and rafters and become the very mood and culture of home. With some city errands taken care of we feasted on delicious borscht, sauerkraut, and roasted potatoes with horseradish, followed by hot applesauce with heavy cream. Food is a celebration all in itself, isn't it? With a candle lit and a blessing to begin, the walls of this home had plenty of family joy to take in. (Not to mention two fantastic late night games of Clue. I think this very well be my favourite kind of grown up fun- a great board game, the kitchen cleaned up, a darling girl happily fast asleep, everyone gathered around the table, a glass of wine or two, and all the laughter that follows).
Before their arrival, I'd been thinking for some time that dear Coco could use a haircut. Her wispy pouf of white fairy hair has always done it's own wild and magical thing, but after four years the ends were certainly in need of a trim. Still, other than a simple little bangs cut at age two, Coco had never had her hair cut before. There's a lot of mama waffling that comes with this...cutting off the wisps of babyhood. Almost right after my mum and aunt arrived I began asking what they thought and...should I do it? Finally, while Coco was in the bath that night I asked my aunt once again...What do you think? If I cut it like this it would look great, right? With these bits still long in front the curls in the back would certainly bounce up, right? To which she firmly replied, Oh just get the scissors already!
Sometimes it takes this, a seasoned mother (with five grown babies of her own), to say it like it is and give that gentle and, ahem, direct nudge. The scissors came out and right there in the tub Coco got her first haircut. Because her hair is so fine there was really very little to cut, but there is enough for a keepsake lock. And it was good for me, who loves to celebrate all things, to also just go ahead and cut it without any more mulling over. (Incidentally, I have learned that once that first cut is over it is much easier to keep trimming, no? Coco's hair is now decidedly even shorter than it is in these photos.)
I don't think I'll ever get used to how quickly my baby grows and changes. Just as I feel that my heart has finally caught up with her latest stage I notice that her pant hems are falling a good two inches above her ankles when just a couple of months ago they were not. Or that my favourite little pair of her shoes simply just do not fit anymore. Just yesterday we measured her against the door frame and she has grown a centimetre in just a few weeks. Forever, I know, my heart will be trying to catch up to her. But, as I cut her hair in the tub I realized that this is all part of mothering and I do love it so. I love that she surprises me every day with her quiet wisdom and strong personality. I love that she is right there alongside me in the kitchen mixing and baking and chatting away. I love watching her world expand with gusto. I love that she loves being four and is so proud to have moved past those remnants of babyness. I love knowing that we will have more moments like that, moments when I will just have to let go in order to embrace all there is to be...moments when I carefully tuck into my heart those sweet memories of what was.
And tie them with beautiful ribbons.