Monday, April 14, 2008

To Cut or Not To Cut...

Jewish tradition says that children (okay, boys, but I tend to be more inclusive) should not have a haircut until the age of 3. This has two major rationales: in Leviticus, it is stated that one is not allowed to eat the fruit that grows on a tree for its first three years. This principle is applied, then, to the cutting of a child's hair. The other is that with the long hair that grows on these little boys (yes, I'm back to just boys), they become indistinguishable from girls, and don't tempt the "Evil Eye" or the Angel of Death to take them...of course, assuming that boys are more valuable than girls. Another explanation, newer to me, is that this indistinguishable nature of boys and girls during this period makes them "genderless" and therefore boys are under the "protection" of their female mother. After their haircut, the boys enter into the "realm of men" and are no longer part of the women's world. (Read more here, at Wikipedia)

All a very interesting sociological explanation...right? But in practice, it's not something that I've ever done. My oldest child, a boy, had his first haircut at about 7 months old. His beautiful curls were definitely getting in his way and when the daycare started putting little bows in his hair, I knew it was time. My second, I held off until about a year, but he too was bothered by hair in his eyes.

Then came the Girl.

No one will bother me about her hair, I thought to myself.

But remarkably, they did! "It's in her eyes!" "How can she see?" and..."couldn't she choke on that cute little hairclip in her hair if she pulled it out?"

The boys desperately needed haircuts this weekend...so we snuck them in Friday afternoon before naptime...and while we were there, I took a deep breath and said, "okay, the bangs!" But I insisted that it wasn't the "First Haircut." (which saved me a lot of money, incidentally, they only charged us 5 bucks!) I didn't even bring the camera because I was not sure I was going to go through with it.

So here she is...with little bangs, perhaps a bit shorter than I would have liked but they'll grow...thank God. (and it's my Best Shot Monday, of course)


So what do you think? Does this count as a haircut or not...and why do I care?!:-)

23 comments:

susiej said...

I'm so fascinated by the story, the rationale behind it... so YES, it does count as a haircut!! But, she has all the protection of a host of angels around her. She's gorgeous.

Vered said...

Interesting. I wasn't aware of the explanation behind this custom.

And I LOVE her bangs. They frame her face beautifully. Adorable!

Bonnie said...

She is adorable !!! Love the bangs ! Those short bangs are all the rage, aren't they ?

Julie said...

I actually like the way those short bangs look in this shot--either you're a fantastic photographer or they're just, plain cute :) Yes, it does count as a cut...the only ones that don't count are like the ones that I used to do to J to keep the wall 'o hair in the back from looking too freakish--it was only one or two snips and that was it.

Christina said...

No, it doesn't count as her first haircut - as I have trimmed my girl's bangs, and yet I maintain that she has not had her hair cut! I can't bear to touch her baby curls. Your sweetie's bangs look wonderful, and she still looks like a baby. :o)
Fascinating dicussion on the origins of this tradition!

Robin said...

Nope, bangs trimming is definitely not a haircut. Not until they lop off those beautiful baby curls and she suddenly looks like a teenager.

She's gorgeous, and even more so with more of her face showing :).

Cat said...

It's a haircut, but she's so cute I don't think it matters!

chaoticfamily said...

It's a haircut!!! LOL - I have not cut my girls yet - (although her brother did a lil snip last week) - including her bangs! But I think your girl looks adorable and each to their own as to what works.

hipmomma said...

susiej said it beautifully. She is absolutely adorably in her new do. I love that I can see her face under those new bangs.

Maggie said...

That is so interesting -- I am always learning things from you!

I think she looks adorable...and it counts as the first 'trim' but I think that you can save the 'first haircut' title for later - when she gets her whole head cut!

Brittany said...

I loved reading that! I think it's most certainly a haircut!

Anonymous said...

I think if a professional does it, it counts as a haircut.

Ilanna said...

My mom's rule was always "until i was old enough to take care of it myself, it was kept short. :) "

carrie said...

Wow - learn something new every single day! I say it is a "trim" and a haircut is when the whole head gets cut!

I adore her cute little pixie face - so sweet!

Golightly said...

She is so cute there! I love the bangs. Although Anonymous makes a good point about a professional doing it, it's still really more a trim. Working at a Synagogue nursery school, I had never heard that before. Could the second theory also be birthed from Pesach, and the first born boys?

natalie said...

No, no, NO!!! That does NOT count as the first haircut! M has had three such haircuts. I'm holding out for a while now so that we can have our first "official" haircut.

I grew up with quite a few Jewish friends and have never heard of the haircut custom. That is so very, very interesting!

And the girl is ADORABLE.

Jenn said...

Well, I am not one to talk - I HATED the idea of cutting my kids hair, that soft baby hair - UGH It was tough to do...Zachary was nearly 2 before I felt that I had to do something. As for your little angel, she's perfect in every way!

Maya said...

I think it counts as a haircut! Look at that adorable face!

Naomi (Urban Mummy) said...

Yes, that's a hair cut. But a cute one!

My (second) son is now 18 months old, and still hasn't had a haircut. He was very bald at birth, and only now is starting to need one. My first had his cut at 11 months, and that was several months after he needed it!

Not planning to wait until 3 with this one, but it is tempting!! That first haircut transforms them from babies to little boys.

Stacy said...

Thanks for that explanation on that Jewish tradition. I love learning about your faith! As for the haircut, she looks adorable (of course!). Since it's not a "full" cut...I don't really think it counts. ;)

meody is slurping life said...

I don't know if it counts or not, but that is the most adorable pouty face. I think her "cut" is perfect.

Crunchy Domestic Goddess said...

she's adorable and i agree, doesn't count. :)

tracey clark said...

All I know is I'd just call it adorable!