Sunday, April 15, 2012

It's only hair

When my oldest was four, my husband took him to the barber shop. He left with an adorable blond bowl cut (this was 1998) and he came back with way less hair that when he'd left. He came home with this HUGE smile on his face and wearing a baseball cap. My husband said "Show mom your haircut." He pulled the hat off and revealed this little head of peach fuzz. My eyes teared up. He looked so grown up (and buzz cuts always reminded me of the commercials of orphans with these desolate looks on their faces and flies swarming about.) But, mostly it was because he looked grown up and he was growing up. And moms often have trouble with the fact that they can't do anything to slow that down. My husband told me that he went in there, looked Barber Harvey straight in the eye and said "I want a buzz cut...please" very confidently. There was no changing his mind, my husband said.

Fast forward 13 years. My oldest, who continued with buzz cuts and short hair until about 5th grade, decided then that he wanted it to "grow out." The sides got longer, the back got longer, the bangs got longer. In high school it got much longer. Like this long:

Of course, my husband and I were on his case a lot about getting it cut. I have to admit, he does have really nice hair. The kind of blond hair a lot of people pay a lot of money to achieve. Last year he decided he wanted to go for a Dennis Leary-style cut. He brought a picture with him and she actually got pretty close. So, the bangs and sides were shortened a bit.

Then, out of the blue, he says this weekend he wants my husband to cut his hair...with clippers. He asks for a flat top, but my husband says he doesn't know how. So, my son says he'll just take a buzz cut instead. I was really shocked. After about 7 years of constant resistance, he wants it cut. Really short. I wondered what prompted it. Perhaps his desire to join the military. Or maybe because he was starting a new job that day. He said it was because his hair was getting tangled in the air pack straps when he was at fire cadets. Whatever. I was kinda happy at the thought of him with shorter hair. 

And then I was sad. I had seen him with long hair for so long. It was just...him. I was nervous when my husband started cutting. Just like when he was four, the end result had him looking so grown up. Who am I kidding? He is grown up. In just over a month, he'll be 18. I'm still not ready for it. "It's only hair," my husband quipped as he saw me getting emotional. "It'll grow back." I think he told me that same thing after the barber shop incident when he was 4.

Now that it's all done, he does look pretty handsome, doesn't he?

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