The Strands that Bind

My little Sophie was born with a lot of hair. Until she was five months old, it stuck up like this:

And now that she’s two, it’s long and glorious:


Her hair is almost always what people comment on when they meet her for the first time. Her hair is her “thing”.

Ever since she was able to grab it in her chubby baby fists, Sophie has loved playing with my hair. On our long car ride home from vacation this summer, when she’d get fussy, I’d take my hair out of its ponytail and let her play with it. Every time I buckle her in her car seat to go anywhere, she plays with it while I fasten her buckles.

Lately, she has begun to play with her own hair quite a bit, especially when she’s tired. She’s a twirler, and every morning wakes up with a huge rat’s nest in her hair from where she’s twirled it to get herself to sleep. Which is A LOT of fun for both of us later in the day. But she must think it’s worth it, because she keeps twirlin’ no matter how much it hurts when I brush it out.

This morning after I picked her up out of her crib, we sat down on the couch for our morning snuggle. She cuddled me for a few moments and then sat up and began twirling her hair. Then, with a “lightbulb” smile, she reached for my hair and began twirling it also, mixing my dark brown and her light blonde strands together in honey-hued spiral.

As we sat there, our heads close together, attached for the moment, a real ache came over me. An ache for things to stay like this forever, for her to want to be close to me, for her to find joy in the things we share, even if it’s just long hair.

I was once a blonde little girl. So I know she won’t stay this way forever. And even though I know there’s joy in our relationship ahead, my heart dropped a little when she let go of our hair. As the spiral untwisted, so did a little bit of her babyhood. And the ache, it got a little bit stronger.

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22 Replies to “The Strands that Bind”

  1. B likes to play with my hair -she still does not have enough to really play much with hers. They do grow up way too fast….

  2. Awwww, that is sweet. My little one loves to play with my hair. She also twirls her hair with one hand and sucks her thumb with the other when she is tired. Little girls are just too sweet…

  3. Ohhhhhh…so sweet. She does have beautiful hair! My daughter came out bald, which is strange, since Mark and I both have a ton of hair. But it’s growing in now, and she loves to brush it – her new lion hairbrush was her favorite Christmas present!

  4. My son is twirling my hair as I read this. As he’s gotten older, it’s progressed more to outright yanking at times…but still. As much as it annoys me, I’ll miss it when it’s gone too.

  5. Jenna also twirls her hair and like you we have to deal with very large rats nest and she continues to do this. Jenna has done this ever since she had enough to twirl. She also sucks her thumb. That’s how I know she is tired.

  6. You’re making me very jealous here. Becca just turned three and still has very little hair (sigh). And Hannah, who was very blonde just a year or two ago is now darkened to brunette. None of mine twirl their hair – although they do suck or chew on the ends.

    Sophie’s hair is gorgeous, just like she is! 🙂

  7. Awww. Beautiful story and beautiful hair. When my oldest was little, she would suck her thumb and fondle my ear lobe. I miss those days. She is now 17. Enjoy these precious moments. Sounds like you are.

  8. This post needs a ‘get out the tissues’ warning at the top.

    What a sweet moment. Thank you for sharing.

    Bekah’s hair is also very long. You can see pictures of her on her blog.

    I have no intention of cutting it anytime soon. We use Johnson’s no more tangles shampoo and spray. It is worth the time to untangle it to keep her gorgeous hair.

  9. I hope Sophie never comes in contact with a pair child-friendly scissors that were forgotton to be put away (or smuggled by her and/or her brother out of view) and chop her beautiful locks

    … much like both of my girls have done at one time or another.

    It’s hard to twirl a pixie cut.

  10. This is such a beautiful post. There is nothing that comes close to moments like the one you so lovingly described for us. And her hair is completely gorgeous!

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