Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Never More Beautiful than Now

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It was about three weeks ago that it began, with a suddenness that took me by surprise. I can trace my awareness of it to a Tuesday night cell group supper, although I'm sure it began before that.
The girls' bangs were in desperate need of a good cut. Due to a number of factors their mom had been unable to get them to the hairdressers.
That Tuesday night, their hair hung down over their eyes, but it didn't seem to bother the girls one bit. Their hairdresser, "Auntie Tanya," had warned their mom, "Do not attempt to cut their bangs yourself." I thought to myself how much things had changed in one generation. When our children were young, parents did cut bangs, but when I look at some of those school photos I think that I shouldn't have!
Samantha, who comes to cell group and who is a hairdresser, agreed heartily. "Oh no, don't touch them," she said ominously, immediately conjuring up horrific images of butchered bangs.
She advised Tiffany-Amber, who told her that she was growing the bangs out anyway, that if she was doing so, she should part her hair on the side to "train" it and that at night she should wear it pinned to one side with a barrette.
I noticed Tiffany-Amber paying very close attention and then she had vanished from the table, only to return moments later with hair duly parted on the side instead of hanging down from the middle as it has done for the first ten years of her life.
This is the granddaughter whose outstanding natural talent is for imitating any animal or bird call, and who loves hanging out with her dad or building stuff and whose outrage is easily sparked at environment desecrating Philistines. Hair has not been on her horizon...until now.
The next evening when she came upstairs, I noticed her walking with an odd sideways gait with her head tilted over to one side. She looked lovely, but the tilt was a tad distracting and I was worried about her neck. I soon realized that it was all about the engaging the power of gravity to control the hair, which had not been fully "trained" to one side yet. I remembered some "hair glue" in my drawer and asked if she'd like it. "Lagoon Jam" it was called.
"Sure," said Tiffany-Amber, and with that she was initiated into the wonders of hair products. She was in awe of the fact that she could walk upright again. I was happy about that too.
In our ground floor bathroom the mirror is a stylish abstract cloud-like shape, and it is hung on hinges. All of a sudden we began to notice it aimed at the level of our belly buttons and covered in finger prints. Same thing with my hand mirror; that was covered in fingerprints too.
The other thing we have noticed is the bathroom door being closed a lot, and someone spending large amounts of time in there. Tiffany-Amber is becoming aware of her appearance and caring about how she looks.
I am watching this process with a pang in my heart. This is all happening sooner than I expected. She is entering "pre-teen hood" faster than we thought.
I comfort myself with the thought that just a week ago she was up a tree in the cemetery across from our house, and she and her sister Victoria still love to snuggle up on either side of me for a story from Parables from the Pond, a wonderful devotional book for children that we are enjoying reading and discussing together at the moment.
I look at their sweet faces and I think that they and our other granddaughters Katherine and Emily, could never be more beautiful than now. No products, plucking or primping could enhance their appearance. There is something so tender and poignant about this rite of passage going on before our eyes. I hope the passage is a slow one. Yes, a slow boat to China would suit me fine.
Matthew 19:14 (New Living Translation)
14 But Jesus said, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.”

1 comment:

Angcat said...

Okay that was a giggle and weep post. You had me chuckling about your concern about Tiffany Amber's neck tilt. That was very funny, and poignant. Yes, I want my children to maintain innocence for so much longer too, perhaps forever, but we know they must grow up.
Ahhh, God bless them and keep them in His care.