There is only one thing worse than accidentally giving your child a bad haircut…
Nature Boy, age 4, the first and last time I ever cut his hair.
…and that is paying someone else to give your child a bad haircut.
Don’t say a word.
I already know. Believe me. I know.
Even The Gatekeeper, who is truly the most stoic and level-headed of any man I know, was PISSED when he saw what that woman did to our little boy.
“Were you on your phone?! How could you not notice what she was doing?”
“No! (Maybe.) I was right there! I couldn’t tell she was going so short! And then when she started to blow it out, I just figured we could fluff it up again when we got home. I had no idea.”
I specifically asked her for a trim. I only wanted a trim. And she was the one who gave him his very first haircut several years ago.
So what if English isn’t her native language! It’s just a trim. What could go wrong? (Famous. Last. Words.)
But when she brought him over to the cash register she said, “His hair very stubborn (sic), but I cut all the curl out for you.”
OMG. She thought she was doing me a favor…like curls were the mark of the debil.
Y’all…I have cried real tears over this. Don’t worry, never in front of him. I put on my bravest face and told him how grown-up he looked. I even secretly called his Kindergarten teacher to give her a heads-up so she wouldn’t freak the freak out when she saw him.
But my baby. My curly headed little cherub. His shining glory scattered across the barber shop linoleum.
I feel like I’ve slapped baby Jesus across the face.
It’s just hair. It will grow. At least that’s what I keep telling myself. But you see, there is a legend in my family of the time my mother cut my cousin Matt’s baby curls off and they never returned. I’m pretty sure my Aunt Debbie has never forgiven her sister for that.
And so I wait. And I pray that Bucket Head’s curls will return.
And they probably will. He’s almost six-years-old, after all. These aren’t just baby curls.
But the saddest part? (to me, anyway)…
Bucket Head LOVES his new look.
He asked us to buy him a comb…his very own comb. He’s never owned one before.
And we keep catching him in the mirror, combing his hair flat as a board. It’s painful to watch.
It’s actually feathered, and a little long in back. Sometimes, in certain light, he reminds me of a mini Larry Wilcox from CHiPs.
He said to me, “I feel like a new man.”
I had to bite my lip to keep from laugh-crying.
“Don’t you like your curls, honey?”
“NO. I hate my curls. I hate the way people are always touching my head. I want to look like all the other boys.”
It breaks a mama’s heart, I tell you. To hear your child “hate” an integral part of their being.
Leslie with She-Mullet, 1982.
But I feel like I have to let him explore his new look…just like my mother let me experiment with Sun-In and She-Mullets.
Of course, I was twelve, not five! I thought I had more time.
So we help Bucket Head comb his hair flat and I try my best to not touch it, even though it pains me to keep my hands to myself.
I can only wait and wonder. Will he come around? Will he learn to love his curls someday? Or will the desire to conform stifle his ability to see how perfect he already is, exactly the way God made him?
It is only hair.
Please. Save me from myself. Assuage my guilt. Tell me about the time you accidentally slammed your child’s hand in the door or Sharpied Groucho Marx eyebrows on your kid because you thought for sure they would fade away before school picture day. Tell me something. Anything, really.