On Hazel Belle's Baby Hairs... and What They Made Me Do

 I didn't know about baby hair until I had some babies. I don't mean hair on a baby, I mean new hair growth. Usually we notice it postpartum- a fine little halo of hair growing at the edge of the forehead along the hairline. Our bodies are in growth mode while pregnant; my fingernails ONLY look good when I'm pregnant, so long and strong. The baby hairs grow while the baby human grows. And when the baby comes out, the little newbies keep going. When I had three babies in three and a half years, I could see the three whispy layers of hair, one set for each kiddo. Children's hair grows the same way. Their original newborn hair gives way to new set after set of hair growth. Their heads grow so fast in that first year that there is almost always a fine fringe of baby hairs around their faces. I love them.

My daughter's baby hairs formed a little set of bangs for her. Curly, wild, sweet little bangs that I absolutely adore. I hope everyone who has a daughter (or more) thinks their daughter is the most beautiful creature they have ever seen. I definitely believe that Hazel Belle is the prettiest little girl I've ever known. I see her through the lens of my love for her- the best filter there is. When I was a young little artist studying in New York, classes with the Metropolitan Museum of Art docents and my own eye-opening (ear?) experiences listening to the New York Philharmonic taught me that all art is more loved the more you try to understand. If you study it and learn the intent of the creative force behind it, you cannot help but love and enjoy it more. Of course, I have spent hours pouring over every detail in my daughter's face. Her icy blue, "Winter Baby," eyes, her rounded cheeks, her perma-dimple on one side, visible from the first night she slept in my arms instead of my belly- I know her face, and so I love it. The little, quirky bangs became a symbol of spunky, sweet beauty.

My daughter is no violet. She is not shy or shrinking. She is tough and too loud. Her stubborn streak and iron will regularly bruise us both. But she is precious, insightful, and wants to give gifts to everyone she meets. No postal pusher or weed whacker wielder is safe from her thrusting a shell, hand drawn card, or toy at them. "HERE! This is for YOU!" Hazel Belle can come on too strong, behave dramatically, and overwhelm people. But I like strong things. I take my coffee black, my whisky straight, my cheese funky. The more I study her, the more I appreciate her. Even her naturally formed bangs are a representation of her soul in my mind. Curly-haired girls aren't "supposed to" have bangs, but there hers are. They grew there by themselves. Bangs on a curly girl feel a little rebellious. No doubt: Hazel is a little rebellious too. But even her rebellious streak can be beautiful. She won't be five years old forever. Stubbornness trained by kindness and grace can become courageous strength and diligence. I pray every day that it will!

Studying art leads to willingness to consider new possibilities and ideas. I never loved modern, 20th century, neoclassical composition until I learned more about Messiaen following that Philharmonic concert. I never cared much about WWII dogfights until Roald Dahl described his in Going Solo. I never thought about making pho until I read some great food writing. I never thought about having bangs until I saw them on Hazel Belle. 

Yes. All of this was for explaining that I got a haircut ;).

Ezra's Turn

Becoming Lasagna

Becoming Lasagna