Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Right Cut

My son had been asking for me to cut his hair.  This was the fifth or sixth request for a hair cut over the course of the week. I put him off several times earlier in the week by telling him the time wasn't convenient or I wasn't sure where to find the electric razor. I'd put him off as long as I could.  I dreaded the job, not because it was difficult but because I loved his hair. 

When my son asks for a haircut he's not wanting a nice man cut with scissors.  He's requesting that I get out the electric razor and mow down his beautiful hair until all that remains is a velvety carpet of stubble on his head.  Before I had children, I made so many judgements and proclamations of the way things would and would not be in my family.  I was young and foolish and still believed that control was mine for the taking.  Now, I know with a clear and certain knowledge that passing judgement and issuing proclamations outlining perfection is the sure way to regret and reevaluation.

As you've probably guessed, one of the things that I proclaimed, for all the world to hear, was that when I had a son, he'd never have a buzz cut.  God heard my prayer, laughed and sent me an amazing little boy who from the time he was three has claimed the buzz cut as his own personal style statement.  He truly believes he is the most handsome creature on the planet when his hair is freshly shorn.  He believes it so deeply that it makes him dance, naked, in the bathroom.

Last night he'd finally had it with waiting for me to get things together for his haircut.  He found the razor himself and hauled me into the bathroom to complete the job I'd been assigned.  Sadly, the razor hadn't been charged and wasn't working up to full power so we had to plug it in and let it charge for a bit.  My son has about as much patience as the typical eight year old.  After about twenty minutes he asked me to come see if the razor was ready.  It seemed to have charged so I put the guard on it and began cutting.  One swath from dead center of the forehead back to his crown complete.  I began on the second pathway and the razor wound down and died.

My son is not normally concerned about appearance.  His color seldom match.  He's been known to tuck his dress pants legs into his cowboy boots.  His sisters keep a pretty close eye on him if we are going out in public so he won't embarrass them with his appearance.  I knew the hair cut we'd gotten done so far was not permanent and that we didn't have to go anywhere so there would be time to finish it after dinner.  He was not convinced and expressed his determination to stay in the bathroom until the razor was fully charged and the job was complete.  I explained to him that it could take several hours to charge the razor and that he'd get bored sitting in the bathroom alone.  A better choice might be to find a hat.  My idea was rejected.  He was determined to remain in isolation.  I left to fix dinner.  About twenty minutes later, he emerged from the bathroom to find a hat.  Pulled said hat very low over his head, almost covering his eyes and sulked his way down the stairs. 

After dinner, we were sure the razor had to be charged.  Finished the second partially mowed row and began on a third.  Things were humming along nicely and then we started running out of juice.  Two thirds of the front was complete.  He looked even more ridiculous than he had before dinner.   Once again, he had the agonizing choice between hat and bathroom.  His sisters were waiting for him to watch a movie.  He couldn't let them down so, after he'd gotten me to promise that he absolutely would not have to leave the house with this cut even if it meant missing Bible study in the morning, he resituated the hat and took his place in front of the screen.

Two hours passed in make believe bliss.  The razor was fully charged, the job was completed with no further delays.  Trim work done. A freshly shorn boy did a dance of recognition and thanksgiving in the bathroom. 
 His mother/barber laughed with delight at how something I once found so abhorrent for my imaginary son could bring such joy to the real life version.  I also caught myself saying a prayer that he would always find joy that would make him dance and that the joy would be something as simple and wonderful as the right hair cut.

1 comment:

  1. Same thing happened here. My "joke" was NO WRESTLING for boys, NO BATON TWIRLING for girls. Guess what stands I sat in last winter? (At least it wasn't baton twirling..) It was a short lived sport, now moved on to basketball, but a lesson to mom...who did sit there, hating every minute of it, but cheering him on.