A beautiful Sunday summer’s morning in Australia… blue skies, cool breezes and the sounds of cicadas and kookaburras fill the air. My partner and I discuss how to spend our day and feel that it is time for our sixteen-month-old to have his first haircut.
Our son came into this world with the finest of short blonde hair and over the months it grew slowly. Today the hair on his crown is thin, straight and requires little attention as it takes its flow in the same direction each day, circling his crown and following suit are those hairs that lead to the front. However, the rear strands of hair and those around his ears grew quickly; they would curl when wet and fly sideways in the breeze and regardless of how absolutely adorable and cute they were, they began to get in the way and we felt they’d be causing some discomfort when they’d get caught in his neck fold during the hot summer nights and days.
So we gathered the highchair and hair clippers, my partner sharing with him how he cuts his own hair whilst our son spent the time ever so gently brushing mine. It was really simple.
We both felt the immediate change as his little locks hit the floor like feathers from the sky above. What we noticed was that there was no time to be sad or miss them because we could so visibly see and tangibly feel that the change was due; most importantly our son was ready and so we couldn’t let any emotions get in the way of what he needed at the time.
Afterwards I realised just how exquisite it is to see and allow our beautiful boy to grow into the handsome and independent young man that I already know him to be. For months now I have felt deep within me that he is not at all a baby anymore and that I would be disrespecting him to treat him as one. Of course, he requires us as adults to support and care for him in every way and I don’t ever dismiss this importance.
But in our son’s short life he has already taught me more about myself than I’d been aware of before, proving that he is just an equal teacher and parent for me as I am to him.
If I were to hold onto his locks as a symbol of his baby days or fill my own needs as a woman with his needs towards me, I would be missing out on the great opportunity that it is to raise a young man, a young gentleman and a gorgeous little boy for the potential that he holds in this life.
His locks could literally be symbolic of locking us into an emotional relationship together for a long time, where neither of us would take the next steps in our own potential or take seriously the responsibility we have to continue to evolve and show the world the essence and truth of who we are.
Supporting our son to cut his hair for the first time has been healing for all of us; a sign of the next transitional period of life that we are indeed all ready for and offering us a moment to let go of the ways we have all been with each other in our family unit, that are now finalised and complete. Our son is walking and talking these days and with his beautiful ‘new do’ to boot, he is revolutionising a path forward for all people to have the trust in themselves to know what is next, what is true, and to choose it for themselves without hesitation.
Published with permission of my partner.
By Cherise Holt, 34, Nurse and Mother, Brisbane Australia
True Relationship with Self
What is we gave children the space to develop at their own pace?
I have watched my neighbour move from a little boy into a gorgeous young man. The haircut is a significant path taken in claiming the next phase of development and holding him with buckets of love as he begins to feel and live what comes with the cycles of development. A true honour as a parent.
Simply beautiful example of how children can reflect the way forward where our beliefs and ideals have no place.
‘If I were to hold onto his locks as a symbol of his baby days or fill my own needs as a woman with his needs towards me, I would be missing out on the great opportunity that it is to raise a young man, a young gentleman and a gorgeous little boy for the potential that he holds in this life.’ Cherise, there is such wisdom in this article. I can feel as parents that we can get attached to our children being a certain way, rather than supporting them to grow and evolve, this feels very stunting and it feels beautiful to enjoy and support our children to grow up and becoming young adults.
Cherise, this article is really helpful to read; ‘Afterwards I realised just how exquisite it is to see and allow our beautiful boy to grow into the handsome and independent young man that I already know him to be.’ It feels really important to not have an attachment to our children being a certain way – for example young and with cute curls. I remember when my son was very young and had gorgeous curls that I wanted them to stay this way, I can also feel how there can be a feeling of not wanting children to grow up. So your article is great and will help parents to support their children to grow and evolve when the child is ready.
Indeed, as parents we can have the tendency to protect our children from growing up, to protect them for the hard and ‘dangerous’ outside world. But that is not the way to go as in that behaviour we do not allow our children to be who they are. As when they can be strong in that they will be equally strong in that so called hard and dangerous outer world too.
What if the only thing stunting our growth in relationships, family or even a career is our own ideals about where we should be or how the growth, promotion etc. should look?
Great Question Susie, what if that is it – what if our growth is determined by our willingness to evolve or hold onto pictures of what that evolution should be like.
We can fixate and hold on to things that no longer serve – and create false ideals that make us feel safe. But all they do is hold us back from evolving.
Loved reading this sentence: “most importantly our son was ready and so we couldn’t let any emotions get in the way of what he needed at the time.” So frequently I get the sense that something is no longer required, or it is time for a shift and a refinement . How wonderfully honouring of everyone concerned to pay attention and not let our ideals and emotions limit the expansion being offered.
Each haircut is a letting go of certain period, so that we can move on to the next. If it is done with love, it can indeed be a support for ourselves and others.
If we have a horrible experience, we tend to blacklist the thing we did as ‘bad’ but forget to account for the energy it was delivered in. So often it’s this that is brutal and what makes us sad.
Beautiful for the parents to realise that they don’t know it all, instead being open to receive the wisdom and teaching that our young children bring to us as an equal part of our evolving together.
Agreed Jill, the more we are open to feeling what is needed next, how to raise our kids – what supports them and what does not. The more we transform parenting for the generations to come.
Gill I had the same feeling and with our own daughter we are learning its evolution for us all not teaching her anything but learning together.
I see a lot of children’s haircuts and they feel so harsh like their parents have wilfully dulled down their child’s light. I guess that goes to show there are many things in this world that can be transformed when they are done with love. We don’t need to work out the details just stay true to this quality.
The belief that we know more or are the wiser ones than our youngers is such ingrained belief. Once we do however let go what you share about the evolution and potential for all expands. Such a grander way of living.
How amazing would it be if we treated ourselves with the same level of preciousness as we treat our children?
Great question, and it would be amazing Elizabeth. I too notice that a majority of adults do not treat ourselves with preciousness, tenderness and care like the way we would treat a baby.
Learning true parenting is an amazing gift for all concerned and brings an aliveness, vitality and joy into bringing up children and ourselves in the glory of who we are.
We don’t go there nearly enough. I don’t go there nearly enough, but I have found whenever I do choose to truly open up to the essence of whoever is in front of me, and let myself appreciate the potential for expansion and evolution that exists in the meeting of any two or more people, my response to them completely changes and deepens and I feel immeasurably enriched. I love the fact that your relationship with your son reflected that from early on.
Cherise, this is so gorgeous; ‘If I were to hold onto his locks as a symbol of his baby days or fill my own needs as a woman with his needs towards me, I would be missing out on the great opportunity that it is to raise a young man, a young gentleman and a gorgeous little boy for the potential that he holds in this life.’ I can feel that I have had the tendency to hold onto baby teeth and baby pictures and hair and that actually what is really important, rather than being attached to the past, is to allow my son to change and evolve when the time is right for him.
The ideals and beliefs we have gathered about family are immense and the letting them go reveals a true and free way to relate to one another. Children are never less than adults, the ideals we have picked up so we remain less as humanity and not evolutionary on the whole is alarming.
Could in fact parenting not be about us and our needs or desires, but about tuning into what is right for each child and helping them develop their own way and their own knowing of who they are in life?
Meg It could indeed, we find that with our daughter the more we support her to develop into the amazing person she is the greater our role as parents is – or better put we are actually then doing our job as parents instead of imposing what we think will bring her protection in life from the horrific state we see the world is in.
I agree Meg, how common is it that we bring our children up to our own desires and wishes and even if we do not intend to we unconsciously do if we have not resolved our own hurts and needs. This simply shows how parenting starts with ourselves, starts with the love and care we bring to ourselves and the willingness to learn and look at our own hurts. It is a simple equation, the clearer we are within our own the lesser we will impose our unfulfilled desires onto our children.
Brilliant question Meg. This is the best way to parent if we are open to tune into and connect to our children to this level of depth and quality. Also, raising our children to support them with their evolution and not for self-recognition would be a great start.
It’s crazy how we think that hierarchy between people exists – we are all teaching each other equally all the time, always. Always.
A great lesson in not letting emotions get in the way of what is needed, and in the space that opens up, we can feel what is true and what is needed whatever the situation.
I agree Jacqueline and you’ve reminded me of the many times where I have let emotions and sympathy get in the way of what is needed and true. I am learning to let go of emotions and make choices based on love and truth, and this feels amazing.
It is very inspiring to witness parenting without need, expectation and agenda. Thank you for sharing this, Cherise.
Thank you Cherise, I enjoyed reading this again and noting your relationships as a family, the degree of love, care, and honouring, and the detail with which this is expressed equally between you all.
Love what you share Cherise, and how supportive you are in allowing your young child to grow by not hanging onto him being a baby because of any personal emotional needs.
“so we couldn’t let any emotions get in the way of what he needed at the time.” the future of parenting being lived right here, right now.
I love the example offered here that every aspect of life, even what we consider to be as a very basic and normal part, can when we choose to be open offer us an opportunity to deepen our understanding, awareness and expand our relationship with and level of responsibility in life.
When we hold the knowing that our children are equal teachers to us as we are to them we are open to the magic they provide and their specific connection with the universe – think its all about what we teach them and we lose this amazing opportunity.
This feels so totally yuk, doesn’t it? Yesterday I left a job I had been in for 3 years – there wasn’t an ounce of regret or sadness about it, simply a ‘what next’ feeling as I am ready for a change. To stay somewhere simply for comfort invites all sorts of complications into life – not least a building tension in your relationship with yourself!
Same here Michelle. I left a job after 7 years and I moved country, ( I moved back to Scotland) immediately afterwards, and there was no regret or sadness. I did feel very spacious and felt ok, what’s next. I took care to complete everything before I left, so there were no loose ends, so to speak. Interestingly, I found that everything I needed just flowed towards me on arriving back – and in the newness of everything, I received so many confirmations that I was in the right place at the right time.
I love how you honoured what you felt. How beautiful for your son and for all of you.
“But in our son’s short life he has already taught me more about myself than I’d been aware of before” – Gorgeous Cherise and it’s important to appreciate this in full and see that no matter how old or who the other person is in a relationship, we have SO much to learn from connecting with them.
There is so much that is offered in the teachings between a parent and a child when we are willing to hold each other in equalness.
Cherise, this is really interesting to read; ‘If I were to hold onto his locks as a symbol of his baby days or fill my own needs as a woman with his needs towards me, I would be missing out on the great opportunity that it is to raise a young man, a young gentleman and a gorgeous little boy for the potential that he holds in this life.’ I can feel how honouring of your son it is to allow him to grow and change when he is ready, rather than getting attached to him being a certain way.
There is so much to learn from our kids and the beautiful reflection they offer if we can truly guide but not get in the way.
A beautiful understanding and awareness of our children and their equalness with us all and our role as parents in simply letting go and not holding on to things as a supportive reflection in life.
Very beautiful Cherise. When we allow and are guided by the natural unfoldment and evolution of another we also are blessed and inspired by the grace of the truth and love that is reflected. This exposes the damage and harm that transpires when we are emotionally attached to needing something from another to make us feel OK, valued or fulfilled, as we then impose a holding back for the sake of our own self-satisfaction, restricting any true advancement all round.
This paragraph made me stop “His locks could literally be symbolic of locking us into an emotional relationship together for a long time, where neither of us would take the next steps in our own potential or take seriously the responsibility we have to continue to evolve and show the world the essence and truth of who we are.” It is worthwhile reflecting on just how much our relationship with various aspects of life is invested with attachment and control in a manner that similarly impede our ability to “continue to evolve and show the world the essence and truth of who we are”?
Letting life and the natural transitions and changes flow through our hands, without the need to grip or hold on, makes for a a relationship with our every days that is free of struggle and complication.
This is such a sweet sharing – these moments can be just a wonderful and memorable without the weighing down of pictures and expectations
I had a family tradition to keep those locks of hair, as well as baby teeth it is interesting concerning what you say about a lock in a relationship, I will ponder this concerning my children. We like to keep momentos to remind us of things, but concerning children, they are born to grow, not stay static. I can feel how important it is to celebrate where they are at and move with it and not hang on to the past.
I love it when parents have the openness, observation and humility to notice that love, care and wisdom does not get passed one way only in their family and when they share and appreciate the fact that their children have their own way of expressing these.