Hello everypeople,

A Zenz Family Update here...  Catching you up a bit on the kids. 

In addition to snapping many, many of our own photos, Amity and I have always tried to get "Official Portraits" at major age milestones... 3 mo., 6 mo., 9mo, 1st birthday, 2nd birthday, and on and on till the end of time.  Right now I'm looking at Isaac's 7th, Gracie's 6th, and Elijah's 9 month.

Now, I know what you are thinking.... "Don't you have, like, ten times that many kids?"  Well, it seems like it.  But actually, there is just one more running around.  Lily.  And despite the fact that her birthday was in February, she has yet to get her 3 year old picture.  Why you ask?  Ahhhhh..... let me take you into A Year in the Life of Lily's Head.

Act One:

One of the obstacles that commonly postpones our Milestone Portraits is "the bruise."  Many times Amity and I will say, "Hey, Child X is due for their next picture!  Let's schedule an appointment!"  At which point Child X immediately falls off the kitchen table, bruising his/her cheek and delaying the photo a week or two.  That is usually End of Story.  Lily however, is a neverending story.  As soon as one bruise clears, another strikes, turning days into weeks into months.  This year, the little bruises were getting tired and feeling overworked.  The little guys wanted some time off, so they enlisted help.  They called up - THE Bruise.  The One Bruise.  The one BRUISE to rule them all.  And in the darkness bind us.

Two little monkeys were bouncing on the bed.  They bounced into each other and clunked their heads.  Minor little clunk.  Gracie cried, though perfectly fine.  Lily acted perfectly fine, though her forehead began to knob.  And the knob began to grow.  And grow.  It was a giant purple pulsing mass, dead center in the middle of her forehead.

Now the same thing happened to Isaac as a toddler, and his gooseegg was much worse.  But his was high on his head, off to the side.  It perched there for a while, and then slowly dissolved.  But Lily's bruise, although smaller, was a Strategist.  It WAS the "One Bruise" after all.  Placed front and center, it too began to recede, but as it did so, it drained.  Down.  Down her face under her skin.  In the days and weeks that followed, you could see her nose begin to puff.  It would have been interesting to put a stop-motion camera on it.  The space between her eyes doubled in width.  And as her nose swelled, drainage ran down the left and right slopes below her eye sockets.  And began to darken.  Big, Black eyes.  And you could actually watch it travel -- the blackness daily creeping farther and farther under her eyes toward the opposite far corners.  Like a horror film.  It looked like she was hit in the face with a frying pan.

This, of course, set the 3 year old picture back many, many months.

Act Two:

Now lest you think a Year in the Life of Lily's Head is all doom and gloom, I would like to point out that many pleasant things happen to her head throughout the year.  One such highlight involved paint.  Now Lily often DOES coat her own head in paint.  And marker.  And dirt.  And frosting.  But THIS use of paint was not applied to her head, but rather used in capturing her likeness.  Lily modeled her Head for master illustrator John Sandford, and its fine features appeared both on the cover and inside the June issue of Babybug Magazine.  Beautiful Paintings.

Act Three:

(Foreshadowing is a device used by an author to build suspense in a story.  Often times seemingly unrelated facts are laid out in anticipation of an event, thus heightening the drama for the reader as he slowly becomes conscious of the disaster looming ahead)

We have lots and lots of children's books in our house as many of you know.  But it might surprise you that I am very selective about which ones make the cut.  Many factors can prevent a book from joining the collection.  We've learned the hard way that any book depicting a child writing on a wall -- even if presented in a negative light -- cannot enter our home.  Within minutes of such a book penetrating our walls, the kids' minds will switch off and they roboticly abandon paper and take to mural making.  So no books with wall-coloring, and in a similar vein, no books with naughty kids cutting their own hair.

Gracie has always had long curling hair.  Isaac can get a haircut and within days look like a mop again.  For Lily, hair growth has been a struggle.  She was bald for SO LONG.  And when her hair did begin to grow, it grew from the back.  For years the hair in front stayed stub-like.  You may recall us describing it in the past as "a comb-over mullet".  But finally, FINALLY!  She recently started growing hair.  Slowly.  It's been a creeping process, but it came.

Yesterday when I woke up, Amity physically blocked me from entering the hall.  Her eyes were wild.  "You can't go in there."  she stated.  "I have to talk to you first."  My mind raced.  The kids have broken my computer.  They've thrown up all over the carpet.  Overdue-bill collectors are hunting for me.

As it turns out... Lily... the whole time sitting only a few feet away from Amity, mind you... quietly stationed herself behind a rocking chair... and cut her hair.  All of it.   Front.   Left side.   Right side.   Only a long strip in the back she couldn't reach survived.  There she sat for minutes, cutting hair, and stuffing it into one of Amity's sneakers.  Odd child.

The salon managed to salvage the sides -- though her head looks like a ping-pong ball.  But the whole front was sheared tight to the scalp.  We hope we can hide it with bows and bands.  Maybe helmets.  Hijab?

So that concludes A Year in the Life of Lily's head.  Although it's not February yet, so this year may still have an Act Four ahead.  And as far as her 3 year old pictures go...  With the speed her hair grows, we'll take those in 2009.


The Zenzes