Are you sure? asked the hairdresser, scissors poised over a hank of my son's hair. He's sure. He'll grow it again. But for now, he wants boy-hair. And there's a lot to be said for it, freedom, air, no getting ice-cream in it, no having tangles tortuously combed out. Cooler in summer.
Ah, but he was such a rock star.
As the scissors flashed and hair drifted to the floor in a pile, it made his father cry. He put his hand over his mouth and turned away abruptly. But a boy's haircut started to emerge quite quickly, the kiddies' places train their hair dressers for speed - though the girl who works there is great. The only thing was, she was wary of going too extreme too fast - she was appalled at to hear he'd wanted it shaved close, at first, like his dad's. We wooed him away from that idea with pictures of spiky, and were all relieved.
I could see him glancing in the mirror, alarmed, as the classic boy's haircut she'd given him appeared. When she finished, he looked at himself, and tears welled up. 'I don't like it,' he gasped out in a little voice and my heart broke all over again. I am not made for this, I swear. Quick as a flash, we demanded gel, and I squeezed him tight as we reassured him it would be cool and funky and just hold on, don't worry, it's all ok. And it was. The chagrin changed to just a grin and he was be-cooled in a second. 'Nobody will think I'm a girl now!' And then it was all stopping to grin into mirrors and windows, chubby hands tented over his spiky fringe in the wind to protect it, delight at the feel of it against his hand. He seems so much more vulnerable like this. Exposed. Older. Smaller. I don't know.
But he's beautiful still, no? Not just-another-little-boy, I hope. I hope he won't lose his mojo.
His sister is alarmed. He's had long hair since his hair started growing, and she doesn't know him any other way, by now. She didn't want him to get it cut. And today, she wasn't able to tell him it was cool, even though I asked her to. She was quiet about it. You don't look like a Bodhi! she protested, finally. I know that feeling - of thinking there's a stranger in the house because of a haircut.
But he's happy, thank god. And tomorrow I get to practice putting in hair gel.
It's all so Sampson. I really hope he'll grow it back after the summer... I want to live in a world where kids look like whatever they want and not have assumptions made about them.
My sweet boy. I'm not so comfortable putting photos of them up, but this little milestone seems to call for it.