It seems like it was just yesterday when Lydia whacked her bangs off the day before Easter. Specifically, the “haircut” occurred the day before the twins’ first Easter when Lydia was just barely 5 years old. That yesterday when my heart was full and my body so sleep deprived that I felt our world was coming to an end because her bangs were gone…. yesterday when I thought I could control everything, yesterday when all three of my babies fit neatly in my arms, yesterday before I even looked to Guatemala.
It’s embarrassing to remember how unhinged I became over those bangs. I drove Lydia to her Nana’s, both of us unable to see clearly through the flood of falling tears. I honestly think it was the first moment she disappointed me as a daughter and that I failed her as a mother. Clearly, this was a bigger issue than a mere scissors error created; this was a mommy identity crisis and the first of many falling facades of perfectionism along the parenting journey. I begged my Mom to fix her, to fix me…to fix Easter.
Seriously. Like Easter needed fixing and like bangs mattered at all in within the scope of, oh I don’t know, my life, Lydia’s life, much less the salvation of mankind.
Yesterday, I was as whacked off as her bangs.
Over 18 yesterdays of Easter we’ve grown together, leading us literally to yesterday when I stood by Lydia’s side as she selected Lindenwood University as her home for the next few years. I was so proud of her as she reconciled her longings and goals in the rational balance of finances, long-term planning, and best next steps. Such large moments of independence and maturity rest on lots of failed experiences, a.k.a. “bang whacks”.
Lydia still winces when I mention the bang whack that Easter of ’02 when our relationship started to grow up. It’s not one of the endearing, funny stories that we share, but it was an important one. This tiny, long-awaited baby girl who came into my arms prematurely has led me into a fuller understanding of motherhood and challenged my broken views of perfection. We have grown up together, as mothers and daughters often do, in a complicated dance of holding on and letting go of yesterdays.