I cracked and cut her bangs. “I can’t stand this,” I said and went to fetch the scissors from the City Hall cup on my desk that John Kalwitz gave me when he was president of the Common Council. I have said cup for the obvious reason. I am old enough to have been around City Hall when John Kalwitz was CC president. I am old enough to be a grandmother after all. I am this particular kid’s grandmother as well as grandmother to another little girl in California about whose bangs I never have to worry.
This girl’s bangs make me nuts. I go for months. Ignoring. Brushing them out of the way.
Cute for 30 seconds. And then I’m shuddering in my desire for the scissors.
Then I start the muttering, the arguments with myself. It’s not your place to cut her hair.
For a long time when she was very little, her other grandmother would give her a bowl cut every time Alita slipped into her custody. I loved it. But was conscious of my daughter-in-law’s aggravation with her mother. After all, I would have gone apeshit if my mother or my mother-in-law had cut one of my daughter’s hair. Good f**king grief. The gall.
Still. I hate the hair in the eyes. “I can’t see your beautiful face,” sounding like the invisible grandmother on the coffee cup I have downstairs. The one with all the grandma sayings that somebody gave me…..Hi honey, don’t you want another cookie? I think there are some quarters in my pocket for you. Are you cold? Here’s my sweater.
I’ve come to this realization. Many times. But today for sure.
I can only be kind for so long.
Then I have to cut the bangs. And then, as I look at the picture, cut them badly. I’d try to fix it, again with my office scissors, but the outcome is likely to be even worse. I don’t know how to cut hair. I only know how to end my aggravation.
But. I will say this.
She was all smiles afterward. She looked in the mirror and had a big smile. And I figure it was because she could see her own little face for a change.
I’d like to be like the grandmother on the cup. But I’m not.
Screw it. I’m doing the best I can. So sue me.
Since writing this post, I’ve had time to reflect. I’m going back to my rule not to mess with my granddaughter’s hair and put the scissors in a lockbox buried in the forest.