Last week, while she was supposed to be napping, my daughter took a pair of scissors, and cut the front of her hair because "it was too much in my face, Dad."
We never thought she'd do this. As a raging fan of Tangled, she's had a great fear that any hair cut turns brown and never grows again. It's been a struggle to just get a trim from time to time. But then off she goes on a Sunday afternoon and snips away.
When I noticed this at dinner (yes, it took a few hours for me to see what happened), I nearly laughed in her face. I fought hard, keeping as straight a face as I could while explaining that if she wants shorter hair, she can let us know. That we shouldn't take matters into our own four-year-old hands any more.
This happens, of course, right before all those random holiday family pictures that she'll be in this time of year. And since her hair grows woefully slow to begin with, it'll still probably be quite uneven come springtime and school pictures.
But I'm glad. Because now we have a story.
How many of your walls and wallets are littered with story-less pictures? I'm guessing too many. I'm tired of being in, looking at, and taking pictures with no story. Take away the story and you take away the marrow of the moment. Story moments give us memories. They give us meaning. We need to chase down story moments, which usually are those moments we don't plan.
Now I'll have a holiday season of photos that can go in my daughter's wedding slide show. We'll have a series of school pictures that she'll show friends one day and share about the time she cut her own hair. I'll pipe in with my take on it. We'll laugh. We'll share a story that will link us over the years.
I want you to take scissors to something this week, not so you can be willfully destructive, but so you can cut away the routine and find the story hiding at the heart of the matter.
Then come back here and tell me that story. That'll be a picture, a memory, and a moment you'll keep forever.