Yesterday the littles lightened their loads.
By several inches.
Both our Princess and Cooter got haircuts yesterday. I suppose it was time. Cooter has been mistaken for a girl more than once in the past couple of weeks, no matter what he was wearing, and lately our Princess has had more rat’s nests than a little bit in her head of hair. It was just too long for her to brush well on her own.
It was time.
Going to the hair salon was a last-minute decision. The best kind, if you ask me. No time to worry or for plans to be derailed by someone being sick or for the universe to otherwise decide it doesn’t need to happen.
Our girl wanted her mid-back length hair cut to her shoulders. I wasn’t sure how I’d make that work with a swim cap, and I mentioned that to the stylist. She nodded and went to work.
In the meantime, Cooter was having his hair cut as well. I think his stylist took four or five inches off the back. He looks like a little boy now, older, with a neck and eyelashes. Oh those eyelashes! I had forgotten, his hair had gotten so long. I kept watching for a reaction, and he had none until I told him he was looking like our neighbor who is in high school. He beamed then. I am not sure I’m okay with him wanting to look that old. Or looking older. *sigh*
I looked back over at our Princess, and she had easily had six inches lopped off. I knew she was hoping for shorter, so I looked over with a big question mark on my face. She looked at me, grinned her biggest smile, and gave me her best thumbs up.
It’s sort of her thing.
When she catches my eye during swim practice, more often than not, she’ll do just that–look over and grin and give me that big thumbs up.
And relief washes over me every time.
My girl’s okay. Better than. Look at that grin.
Today we had her birthday treasure hunt at Blackberry Flats. Mama started doing this several years ago. She wrote out the clues on sticky notes and stuck them around the house. After Mama died, I put one together for Princess in honor and memory of the tradition. Our girl loved it. After Mess Cat and Leroy moved in, one of the first things our Princess asked was, “Can we still do the treasure hunt?”
Mess Cat would have it no other way.
And today we went over for a visit with no time restraints requiring us to rush or hurry off. Right before we left, Mess Cat remembered the hunt and I called out to my girl up in the tree, “Did you forget to do something for your birthday?”
I could see the wheels turning in her mind. And then, that great big smile. She came down out of the tree faster than I’ve seen her move in a while. It was precious.
She bounced around the house with Cooter and her cousin Shaker right beside her. Shaker had written out hints for each clue in case she got “frustrated. Are you frustrated yet?” With everyone working together, she found her surprise–a book picked out especially for her, in honor of the tradition–a book that we felt sure Mama would have chosen herself.
As I pocketed the clues–such great rhymes! (way to go, Mess Cat!)–to be tucked away in our Princess’ memory box, our girl hugged her aunt. I asked, “So did Mess Cat do a good job on the hunt?”
And there it was. That sweet smile that goes from ear to ear. And the big ol’ thumbs up.
Well all right then. I’ll take it.
Tonight I’ve been pondering who gave the first thumbs up and how it came to mean “it’s all good.” I am thankful for the sign in general and especially when offered by my sweet girl as her way of calming her Mama’s nerves and saying, “Life is just about the best ever, isn’t it?”
I am also thankful for stylists who listen and visit with children and who don’t blink an eye when an excited ten-year old girl wants to hug them in thanks. I give thanks for sisters who plan special events to keep the traditions going and to celebrate the memory of one we all love and miss, who was all about the fun and loving on folks herself.
May your day be filled with wonderful surprises and quiet moments of joy that have you giving life a great big thumbs up!
Love to all.