Keeping his curls


Lately, Silas’ hair seems to keep coming up.  Friends, acquaintances, and even anonymous strangers have been suggesting that we cut it.  I am not easily offended and I really don’t mind when the comments are made by people who love us.  In fact, we actually nearly did buzz it all off last weekend after Silas cut it himself with scissors, close to the scalp and right up front.  But then, we just couldn’t.  It’s not just me, Jonny doesn’t want to cut it either.  I tried to explain to a friend that I look at those curls, the ones my boys seem to have as toddlers and by some cruel twist of genetics my girls never do, and the thought of cutting them, it makes me cry.  I won’t pretend that’s rational.  I know it’s just hair.  But I can try to explain.

Only recently I transitioned from being a mom to young children, to being a mom to teenagers as well.  Late last summer I had a devastating experience with one of my older kids that left me heartbroken.  In the midst of it, I spent an entire night sobbing, unable to see how I’d face the road ahead.  But by the Grace of God I crawled out of bed puffy and red faced the next morning and I did.   Hard talks were had and we made it through, but the experience left a lasting mark.  It might sound dramatic, but I knew that for me, being a mom would never be the same again.  I think that must happen to most moms at some point.  There comes a day when you realize that parenthood is going to break your heart, again and again.

A couple months later, Job was born.  He was over ten pounds and had severe shoulder dystocia.  In other words, he got stuck.  His birth was terrifying.  Nearly five months later and I am still not the same physically or mentally.  I look at Job’s face and his perfect sweetness, perfect innocence, and I cry sometimes.  I cry because of what he and I went through, but  I also cry because I know he might break my heart one day.  I know what that feels like now.  I marvel over each little physical milestone he reaches, while mourning the phase he leaves behind.  I get all mixed up, the trauma of late last summer and then Job’s arrival muddling my brain and dominating my emotions.

As we’ve entered this new phase with our older children, this parenting thing, it’s turned out to be so much harder than I ever imagined.  And once you realize that, there’s not much you can do but keep moving forward, and keep loving your kids, knowing that there is pain ahead.  Even in the best case scenario, we are loving them so that one day they will leave us.

So maybe you’ll understand when I tell you, I’m not ready to cut Silas’ curls off.  And maybe you won’t.  Tell me he looks like a girl, and I’ll just have to shrug my shoulders.  I have to be honest, I’m not worried about that.  Call me selfish and I’ll tell you the only haircut he’s interested in right now is a self inflicted one.  Call me sentimental and silly and I’ll smile and agree, but I can’t part with those curls.  Because cutting them off will be like taking one step closer to the inevitable.  I know he’s going to grow up, but right now he’s still a little boy not even three years old.  I’m not ready for that first haircut.  Soon, I think, but not yet.  For right now, I’m keeping his curls.


  1. Love this post. Thank you for continuing to be real. Like the velveteen rabbit. Smile. Yes, motherhood is hard. My oldest is 26, 24, 20 and little G whom I blog about is now 8.5 and was adopted at 4.5. I thought parenting was hard when they were little. The constant diapers, tantrums, runny noses and illnesses- sleepless nights. But parenting adults. Well, we are human. Our children are human. We live in a broken world and it can be painful. I do my best to focus in the positive. Look for God in all the moments and remember things like hair length and the outside is much less important than what is on the inside. We look to God for approval and that is what matters. ( I remember struggling with the same emotions through every. Single. Phase. With my 20 yo. He is a man now and I am blessed to call him mine. Hugs Ginny. You are a beautiful mama.

  2. If he was begging for a hair cut, it would be different, but it’s honestly no one else’s business!
    I didn’t cut my son’s hair until he was 3.
    And the only reason was because it got to be such a fight to brush it, I gave him the choice: cut it or brush it?
    And he chose to cut it.
    Now, at almost 5, he wants to grow it again. No problem. I give him the same choice: cut it or brush it.

    Looking like girls, or looking like boys – what nonsense!
    We’re all people.
    We look the way we look. We dress the way we dress. We love who we love.
    The heart inside is what matters.

  3. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and your deepest feelings, Ginny! If you aren’t ready to cut his curls and he doesn’t demand it of course you should leave them alive and enjoy every moment of it! My brothers never cut their hair until the age of about 8. We girls didn’t either till about 13 in my case. These first curls are very special and your feeling of cutting into the child and childhood itself should be taken seriously I think. I’m so glad you go with your heart in this! Keep it up!

  4. I’m a little farther down this road… our youngest is now 11 and our oldest 24. I love how you are able to put into words so many of the things that weigh on my heart. You have a gift and I thank you for sharing it with us!

    And none of my boys lost their blonde curls until they were well past toddlerhood 🙂

    • Jennifer, we are in the ‘same age group’ lol, my oldest son is 26 and my youngest son is 10. How many do you have in between?

  5. My Henry, my sixth born, has long golden curls as well…below his shoulders. And I hear those comments daily from family and strangers and every one in between. But like you, I just can’t cut them yet. He’s my baby and my last…and I want to drink his beauty and golden curls and babyness as long as I can get away with…and yes, he is 2 1/2 🙂

  6. When I first read this, I couldn’t believe anything about parenting would keep me up at night crying (I love my sleep!). Then the last couple days at my house exploded. I cried lots. So did everyone else. Only, only with God can we possible do it. I had no idea that the meaning of ‘I can do all things through Him who strengthens me’ would mean being a mother. It is so, so hard. Bless you, and God keep you, and keep those sweet curls of Silas’.

  7. I love this post so very much. I have really been enjoying, and relating to your words recently. Thank you for sharing your honesty as a mama with all of us.

  8. Good job mama! 🙂

  9. Ginny,
    I love Silas’ sweet curls! Whenever Bracken’s hair gets a bit long, people always make comments to us too. I’m hoping I’m getting thicker skin with age though, so remarks don’t bother me so much!


  10. Rachel E R says:

    What beautiful words. I can totally relate, as I am sure so many mommas out there can. My little guy has curls and I can’t part with them either. Most people think he is a girl and half the time I don’t even correct them. Hugs to you and all the parents out there for during those rough, heartbreaking, and life-changing parenting moments.

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